House with a Thousand Stories, The
It is 2002 and young Pablo, a city boy who has mostly lived a sheltered and privileged life in Guwahati, is visiting his ancestral village for his aunt's wedding. This is his second time in Mayong, in rural Assam, since 1998, when he had come for a few days to attend his father's best friend's funeral. As the wedding preparations gather pace, Pablo is amused as well as disturbed by squabbling aunts, dying grandmothers, cousins planning to elope for love and hysterical gossips. And on this heady theatre of tradition and modernity hovers the sinister shadow of insurgency and the army's brutal measures to quell militancy.
In the days leading up to the wedding, which ends in an unspeakable tragedy, Pablo finds first love, discovers family intrigues and goes through an extraordinary rite of passage. Written with clinical precision, this gripping first novel announces the arrival of one of the most original voices from India's North-East.
Aruni Kashyap is a writer and translator. He is the author of the novel The House with a Thousand Stories (Penguin Books, 2013). Aruni is also a translator from the Assamese, and wrote the introduction for celebrated writer Indira Goswami's last work of fiction, The Bronze Sword of Thengphakhri Tehsildar, for Zubaan Books (2013). He won the Charles Wallace India Trust Scholarship for Creative Writing, the University of Edinburgh, in 2009, and his unpublished poetry collection, There Is No Good Time for Bad News, was a finalist for the Marsh Hawk Press Poetry Prize and the Four Way Books Levis Award in Poetry, both in 2018. His short stories, poems and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in various journals and anthologies, including The Oxford Anthology of Writings from North-East India, the Kenyon Review, the New York Times, the Guardian, The Hindu, Joyland Magazine, Evergreen Review and others. He is an assistant professor of creative writing at
the University of Georgia, Athens.