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Table for Four

Table for Four

K Srilata
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It is their last evening together. Maya, Sandra and Derek, graduate students at UC Santa Cruz and house-mates for three years, are preparing for dinner with Uncle Prithvi, the house-owner. It’s a cheerful and quirky household: Sandra is prone to ‘Orkut attacks’; Derek silently pines for the wistful-looking Afghan boy in the photo on his wall; Maya, who has the hots for Derek, is inexplicably terrified of the ocean; and the elusive Uncle Prithvi communicates through notes he leaves all over the place.
Sad at parting, perhaps forever, and half tipsy, Maya, Sandra and Uncle Prithvi play a game of wapping stories as they wait for Derek to arrive. As the evening progresses, we learn their deep, dark secrets and hidden fears. Sandra, abandoned at birth, talks about growing up in an orphanage with her precious twin, disabled Solana, only to be separated by circumstances; Uncle Prithvi rues the loss of his beloved daughter, whom he betrayed when he sought a new life with Karen in the US. Maya, the narrator, can’t bring herself to open up-except when alone. And Derek avoids revealing himself altogether as he doesn’t turn up at all.
Finely crafted and deeply felt, Table for Four is a rumination on the burden of secrets, of learning to let go and accepting the betrayals and losses in our lives.

Imprint: India Penguin

Published: Jul/2011

ISBN:

Length : Pages

MRP : ₹8.99

Table for Four

K Srilata

It is their last evening together. Maya, Sandra and Derek, graduate students at UC Santa Cruz and house-mates for three years, are preparing for dinner with Uncle Prithvi, the house-owner. It’s a cheerful and quirky household: Sandra is prone to ‘Orkut attacks’; Derek silently pines for the wistful-looking Afghan boy in the photo on his wall; Maya, who has the hots for Derek, is inexplicably terrified of the ocean; and the elusive Uncle Prithvi communicates through notes he leaves all over the place.
Sad at parting, perhaps forever, and half tipsy, Maya, Sandra and Uncle Prithvi play a game of wapping stories as they wait for Derek to arrive. As the evening progresses, we learn their deep, dark secrets and hidden fears. Sandra, abandoned at birth, talks about growing up in an orphanage with her precious twin, disabled Solana, only to be separated by circumstances; Uncle Prithvi rues the loss of his beloved daughter, whom he betrayed when he sought a new life with Karen in the US. Maya, the narrator, can’t bring herself to open up-except when alone. And Derek avoids revealing himself altogether as he doesn’t turn up at all.
Finely crafted and deeply felt, Table for Four is a rumination on the burden of secrets, of learning to let go and accepting the betrayals and losses in our lives.

Select Preferred Format

K Srilata

A Charles Wallace writer-in-residence at the University of Stirling in Scotland, in 2010, K. Srilata teaches creative writing and literature at II T Madras. Table for Four is her debut novel. Srilata is an award-winning poet and has two collections of poems-Seablue Child and Arriving Shortly (forthcoming). She co-edited Rapids of a Great River: The Penguin Book of Tamil Poetry. Her other books include The Other Half of the Coconut: Women Writing Self-Respect History and Short Fiction from South India. Her reviews appear regularly in The Hindu's Literary Review.