Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Fairy Tales at Fifty

Fairy Tales at Fifty by Upamanyu Chatterjee from Harper Collins, India.

A brilliant, macabre, hilarious story from a writer at the very height of his powers. On the cusp of fifty, Nirip learns, quite by accident, that he is not the biological child of his parents. He is more intrigued than shocked by the discovery, for his family history has persistently revealed to him that ordinary lives in this bloody rotten world have all the qualities of myth, of adventure, folk and fairy tale; they appear ordinary only because one wills oneself to view them as so.

The world saw Nirips father Pashupati for example as a captain of industry and the creator of a business empire, but to his family hed always been the insatiably lustful ogre of fairy tale, ever on the lookout for females and babies to glut his appetite with.

Nirip arranges to have himself kidnapped and then plays night cricket with his dacoit captors because no family member appears keen to pay the ransom and have him back. Witty, macabre, heroic, cruel, unforgivingly insightful, Fairy Tales at Fiftyis a triumph of fiction and only in part because it asserts that in fiction alone are human lives seen as precious.

In our Fiction section, Rs. 599, in hardback, 400 pages, ISBN : 9789351363125

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