Review of Diamond Dust: Stories

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Editor: Janet Witalec
Date: 2003
Publisher: Gale
Document Type: Book review; Critical essay
Length: 758 words

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[(review date winter 2001) In the following review, Narayan prefers the stories set abroad in Diamond Dust to those set in India, objecting to the latter's discomfiting perspective on contemporary Indian society and inappropriate use of Indian idiom.]

Author of ten novels, including Fasting, Feasting (1999; see WLT 74:1, p. 240), which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize, Anita Desai is also a short-story writer. The stories in Diamond Dust, her second collection, are quite different from those in Games at Twilight and Other Stories (1978), her first collection. The earlier stories were set entirely in India, but three of the nine stories here are about life in the USA, while one is set in Mexico. The stories set abroad are better than the Indian ones. "Underground" is an unusual love story: the husband finds himself unable to welcome guests to his hotel after the death of his wife; instead, he spends his evenings feeding a family of badgers. A young schoolgirl finds her illusions about artists shattered when she observes the plight of the tenant living on their property.

The last two decades have witnessed the growth of a new...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|H1100051033