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Set in the early nineteenth century, A Tapestry of Tears is about female infanticide, and the unmaking of tradition. If a woman gives birth to a female child, she must feed her the noxious sap of the akk plant. That is the tradition, parampara. Veeranwali rebels, and fights to save her offspring. 

The other stories span a spectrum of emotions and also bring to life the varied culture and social spectrum of India. Woven into this collection is the past and the present, despair and hope, and the triumph of the human spirit.

Excerpt
“When I look at the trophies that line the walls of the haveli, at the stuffed heads of boar and stag, and the tiger with its mouth opened in a futile snarl, I wonder. I am a woman, only a midwife. I don’t know what it means to be a man and a zamindar. I don’t know what it is to ride into the jungle with attendants, to chase an animal, to corner it, and to kill it. It must be an act of courage because the man is praised for his bravery.

“But can you imagine what courage it takes to pour those two drops into the mouth of a babe? And the child you have carried yourself, one who is a part of your own body, whose heartbeat was a resonance of your own? Just as a man is not allowed to show fear on a hunt, women are not expected to waver in snuffing out that tiny life. Does a man remember the look in the eyes of a dying deer? Perhaps he does. A woman does not forget the face of the dead child. The child lives on as a phantom, clutching at her heart, and troubling her sleep.”


The Vigil and Other Stories, published by Leadstart Publishing, India, is a collection of fifteen stories set in India. The themes are very distinct; some of them deal with certain social issues pertinent to India, one is based on the India epic Ramayana, and others have more universal themes. The stories cover myriad emotions, diverse characters, milieus and situations. 

The book is available as a paperback and ebook on amazon.com and many Indian online stores.

Link to reviews goodreads Link to Leadstart Publishing

 

 

Catherine Dickens: Outside the Magic Circle: I have used a pseudonym for this book which is the usual device writers use when they write different genres. 

Catherine Dickens: Outside the Magic Circle is fact based fiction. Charles Dickens forced a separation on his wife after twenty-one years of marriage and ten children, falsely alleging that she was an unfit wife and mother. The book is a fictionalized account of Catherine’s life after she was plucked out of her familiar world and thrown to the wolves, as it were, by the exemplary Charles Dickens. It is told in her voice; sometimes reminiscing, at other times baffled, confused, hurt, angry. It has her tears, her love, and her quest for the meaning of her life, and marriage. 

Available as e book, print, large print edition. Please see reviews on amazon.com

 

Take 2: A Collection of Short Stories is my joint venture with L.Meadow of South Africa. We have never met in person but while we were members of an online book reading forum, decided we would write a series of stories using a set of ten photographs. That is what the Take 2 is about; it is our individual take on the images. We set some very tight time and word length regulations and completed the book in a fortnight.

The book has twenty short stories, based on ten photographs. We have naturally given our own cultural interpretations, yet the universality of human emotion and expression tie the stories together, because the things that unite us as human beings are stronger than the cultural differences that separate us. Take 2 is more than a book. It is a shared experience and a belief that the common denominator between two people is their humanity.

We made a mutual decision to support charity with the proceeds from the book, choosing http://smilefoundationindia.org as the recipient because of the work they do meeting the basic 

needs of women and children in India, ensuring their future and fostering dignity and respect 

through education.  Available on all amazon stores as ebook.




Subpages (1): Outside the Magic Circle