The book is an anthology of short stories. The interesting thing about anthologies centred around a theme, in this case, ‘Marriage’, is that you get as many different perspectives on the topic as the number of participating writers. When it comes to marriage, there can be two types- a happy marriage and a sad marriage. A happy marriage leaves no room for imagination. It is happy. But a sad marriage could be sad for a number of reasons. It could be difficult, painful or simply sad. While most of the stories in the book are realistic, some are pure imagination and unreal. Whatever be the nature, the book is a satisfying read.
About the book
‘He, She, It- the Grammar of Marriage’ has 27 short stories, each written by a different writer. It, therefore, gives you a taste of 27 writing styles and ideas around the theme of ‘Marriage’.
I read the first two stories and was surprised by the sheer beauty of storytelling. Dr. Mary Anne’s, ‘The Visitor’ and Babitha Marina Justin’s ‘Missing the Last Bus from Gauhar’ left me wanting more.
I decided to pick up a story at random to see if every story was as good, if not better than the ones I had read. Candice Louis Daquin’s ‘We Are All the Colours of the Earth’ read like poetic prose, carrying the message of love, and Sujatha Mekkoth’s ‘Flowers and Fetters’ left me satisfied with the ending.
Whether I read the book from the first page onwards, from the last story backward, or began somewhere in between, I found the stories engaging. The book proved to be a delectable buffet catering to every tastebud- there is a simple, sweet and close-to-life story like Satbir Chadha’s, ‘Dead Spark’, which highlights the sad truth that good marriages go through, a funny story that will appeal to the young like Santosh Bakaya’s, ‘What is the world coming to?’, one that talks of unrequited love of a kind that is hard to believe and yet leaves you wishing for, like Amita Paul’s ‘Will you marry me?’ and a story set in the Mexican culture, (inspired by a documentary on Bob Dylan’s Street Legal and some other songs) AV Koshy’s ‘ Writin’ Jenny’ shows how easily a brilliant writer can travel to places far from his own and bring to life other worlds.
While Feby Joseph’s, ‘Mrs Xavier’ and Lathaprem Sakhya’s ‘Living Corpse’ left me appreciative of the storytelling, language and weave, Sumita Dutta Shoam’s ‘Brawl’ though appeared to be old wine in a new bottle, held me captive for the narrative. It was achingly beautiful. It’s hard for me to list all the writers here, but I can tell you this book will introduce you to some very good writers.
I read the book over a few days because each story, though short, is profound. I still have five or six stories to read, but as I have read 80% of the book, I decided it was time to write the review. The remaining stories would in no way change my opinion of the book. It’s a good buy.
Who this book is for?
It doesn’t matter what kind of stories you like reading, there is something for everyone in this book, from silly, light-hearted stories to deep, meaningful ones. Pick it up to find out which authors you’d like to look forward to in the future or simply to enjoy 27 unique ways of looking at the theme of ‘Marriage’.
The note from the editors, Vineetha Mekkoth and Geeta Nair says, “The stories here will keep you captivated with their sharpness, wit, pathos, and sometimes joy.” I cannot agree more.
This book gets 5 stars for the surprise element of each story, language and narrative. Congratulations to the editors and each of the authors. Amazing job done.
The book is available on Amazon, in Kindle and Paperback version.
The blurb on the book says, This is a striking collection of intensely personal stories.
“He, She, and Marriage”, the three categories in the title, come together in varied ways to create vivid patterns. Every marriage is different here and imagined by different authors in distinctive styles and settings. The stories range from grave to gay, from clear to dense. I found them compelling and enjoyable.
Mohan Sivanand, who started his career as a journalist with The Times of India Group, moved to ‘Reader’s Digest’ and was its Chief Editor, India, for ten years until 2015. He has written numerous articles for the Digest and other publications.
My debut novel, ‘Coming Home’ is now available on Amazon.
For the Kindle and paperback edition of the book, please click here. The book is available in most countries.
You can get your copy of the paperback edition in India by clicking here.
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