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A House Is a Body: Stories por Shruti Swamy
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A House Is a Body: Stories (edição 2020)

por Shruti Swamy (Autor)

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7126291,301 (3.75)9
Título:A House Is a Body: Stories
Autores:Shruti Swamy (Autor)
Informação:Algonquin Books (2020), 208 pages
Colecções:A sua biblioteca

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A House Is a Body: Stories por Shruti Swamy

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Mostrando 1-5 de 28 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
Esta crítica foi escrita no âmbito dos Primeiros Críticos do LibraryThing.
I’m at a loss for what to say about this collection. Is it one that will change the way all stories are told or written, as a quote on the jacket boasts? I don’t think so. But it’s solid, smart. Certainly worth reading. Swamy moves deftly between registers, incorporating folklore and magic realism with ease.
  seidchen | Dec 30, 2020 |
Esta crítica foi escrita no âmbito dos Primeiros Críticos do LibraryThing.
Shruti Swamy writes with precision and clarity and simplicity, about complicated subjects. I really loved that combination. There is a mastery of the short story form here, an almost classical approach to storytelling, that I also loved. My favorite story in the collection was "Didi," which begins with such an insightful back-and-forth scene between a husband and wife, where in spite of nothing much happening between them an entire world of feeling and momentum has been established by the end of these opening pages:

"She lifted each item out of the grocery bag carefully, turning each orange over in her slim hands to inspect them or bless them. She took out a large wooden bowl and placed the oranges inside, and she was right to do so; they were beautiful in that bowl..."

I love this writing. It did keep me somewhat at arms' length because of its polish. It's a complicated criticism that I'm not sure I understand completely myself, even though I'm the one making it, but I think what I mean is that the stories are tidy in a way where I was never surprised by an out-of-place shocker of a sentence or scene...and sometimes I wanted to be. ( )
  poingu | Dec 7, 2020 |
Esta crítica foi escrita no âmbito dos Primeiros Críticos do LibraryThing.
Precise and insightful, this collection showcases Swamy's mastery of her craft. Her voice effortlessly inhabits each of her characters, creating a vivid sense of inner life and human complexity. A beautiful and very impressive work that I enjoyed more for its exquisite artistry than emotional heft. ( )
  wevans | Nov 3, 2020 |
Esta crítica foi escrita no âmbito dos Primeiros Críticos do LibraryThing.
Swamy is undoubtedly a talented writer, and a few of the stories here are wonderfully powerful, but on the whole, this is one of those collections that make me consider avoiding award-winning stories and collections full of stories that have been featured in respected literary journals. It's not that the writing isn't wonderful--it is--but the brand of MFA fiction that seems to prize art, writing, and concept above story and meaning isn't anything I really care to read a full collection of.

There are short story collections full of 'MFA' or literary fiction which I adore, but in this case, it felt like more of the stories prized language and 'literariness' over quality of story. Some of the stories here stood out as being both powerful and memorable--notably, the last two in the collection ("A House is a Body" and "Night Garden") and the more novella-length "Earthly Pleasures", which was the first story in the collection that I can really say I enjoyed, despite the fact that it appeared about halfway through the collection. In these stories, there was a depth of character and concept that gave real life to the stories, vs. having them be quite so formed and overly artful. They felt alive, and they connected to me in a way that none of the other stories managed.

One of the blurbs here reads, 'The perfect book for lovers of short stories', and I'd amend it to say that this may be 'the perfect book for lovers of MFA-driven short stories'--which, admittedly, is somewhat damning praise. I enjoy literary fiction, and I love short stories--the short stories of Nathan Englander, Anthony Doerr, and Jhumpa Lahiri are the very reasons I fell in love with their writing--but short stories still require depth and life, and too often, it felt like these stories were aspiring to be literary more so than to be enjoyable or engaging.

I may very well take a look at any novel Swamy writes in the future if the description strikes me, but I'm afraid I can't really recommend this collection to anyone other than readers of literary collections and MFA students who want more MFA fiction or to see what some of the big lit. journals are really looking for (which, I suppose, this offers a sample of based on the publications listed for these stories). ( )
  whitewavedarling | Sep 17, 2020 |
Esta crítica foi escrita no âmbito dos Primeiros Críticos do LibraryThing.
The stories in this collection often take a small, decisive moment in a woman's life and use it to shed light on who she is. There's a quirky kind of off-beat flavor to these stories, but it's subtle, as are the stories themselves. Even the oddest ones prefer to remain understated. This collection orders the stories from the weakest to the strongest, something I've never seen done before. Or is it that as I got accustomed to how Swamy wrote, my enchantment grew?

So in these stories, an alcoholic artist meets Krishna, a woman with a baby watches a forest fire approach her home, and a young woman remembers her sitar instructor. Each story focusses on a moment of discomfort and is revealing in a way that unwraps itself slowly. I started out being a little disappointed with these stories and finished the book wishing it had contained a few more. ( )
3 vote RidgewayGirl | Sep 15, 2020 |
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