Diamond dust: and other stories
Whole lives come into focus in this rich and diverse collection, as Desai shines her luminous spotlight on private universes from India to Canada and New England, from Cornwall to Mexico. Her protagonists set forth on journeys and find themselves suddenly beyond the pale, or surprisingly back where they started. Caught up in cycles of hope and disappointment, their lives are ruled by the seasons, at the mercy of heat and dust, or straightjacketed by the conventions of hospitality, friendship and family. In the title story, a beloved dog, black as Satan, brings nothing but disaster. In another, a businessman away from home sees his own death. Elsewhere, old relationships stir up buried resentments, issues demand commitment, or escape. And in the final masterpiece, one of Delhi's girls of slender means finds a kind of joy and freedom in a strange rooftop community. Desai writes beautifully, with humour and delicacy, charm and compassion, about ordinary lives in a disconcerting world.
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