It is the mid-seventies, and Shaila has returned to Bombay for her father's sixtieth birthday party. In the linked stories that follow, Shree Gatage renders an India that can only be revealed by first leaving, and then returning again -- in the end, for Shaila, for good.
In this highly accomplished first collection, Ghatage reveals a true gift for bringing sparkling characters to life: A young woman who was orphaned in adolescence finally comes to recognize and accept what it is to be loved; a mother in search of an acceptable husband for her daughter rejects one boy because his sister leads her life by the number five; fate keeps a man from continuing his family line when each of the women he marries dies.
A whole rich world opens up as Ghatage lovingly articulates the minutiae of daily life in India's urban south in this lively, humorous, poignant collection.
• 176 pages • 6 x 9
Thomas Head Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award, 1996, Winner, Awake When All the World Is Asleep.