Set in contemporary Bombay and other cities, these stories reflect the kaleidoscope of urban life - evoking the colour, sounds and white-hot heat of the city. Warm, perceptive, humorous and touched with sadness, Anita Desai's stories are peopled with intensely individual characters - the man spiritually transformed by the surface texture of a melon; the American wife who, homesick for the verdant farmlands of Vermont, turns to the hippies in the Indian hills; the painter living in a slum who fills his canvasses with flowers, birds and landscapes he has never seen.
As finely written atmospheric pieces alone the stories would be memorable... As social documents they are absorbing. The volume's profound theme is the tension between convention and exploration, family solidarity and individualism... An admirable humane and responsible achievement
One of the most brilliant and subtle writers ever to have described the meeting of eastern and western culture
Beautifully accomplished and memorable
Desai has a gift of opening up a closed world and making it clearly visible