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Diamond Dust & Other Stories

3.32  ·  Rating Details ·  288 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
Whole lives come into focus in this rich and diverse collection, as Desai trains her luminous spotlight on private universes from India to Canada and New England, from Cornwall to Mexico. Her protagonists set out on journeys and find themselves suddenly beyond the pale, or surprisingly back where they started from. Caught up in cycles of hope and disappointment, their live ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published March 1st 2001 by Vintage (first published 1980)
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Lot of imagery, lyricism in the language, so Anita Desai isn't always the easiest authors to read - especially if you want to get straight to the point. I remember reading Cry The Peacock several years ago and not really grasping much of it - a very mystifying novel with lots of symbols and imagery.

So when I took up her book of short stories -Diamond Dust, I did it with some amount of hesitancy. The first story actually put me off awith its dialogues - which I thought didn't sound 'Indian' at al
Shivam Dixit
my personal favorite ones r winterscape, diamond dust and the man who saw himself drown. while in winterscape the evident hardcomings of indian parents r shown nd how they are not able to adjust in the modern settings of their grownup children. it olso shows the deep contrast between western individualistic approach nd indian collective approach.
diamond dust is bout how ppl r mad fr deir love and obsessions no matter how mch nybdy else tries to cnvince dem. man who saw himslf drown is d best on
Dec 23, 2012 Tya rated it really liked it
I think that one of the most beautiful things that an author can do in a short story collection is creating a voice so distinctively and so aptly for the circumstances of each story and each character that you almost forget they are all written by the same person. And that's what Anita Desai did in Diamond Dust. I can just imagine her carefully mixing and choosing words in her palette and painting with such purpose and technique that when you look closer at the finished work you can observe the ...more
Nov 21, 2015 Meera rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Diamond Dust an anthology by Anita Desai. The book is a collection of nine short stories. I always like to read short stories and having read many of them; good and some forgettable.

This novella was just alright. Stories highlight people, friendships, family ties, and one story about dog; (beautiful and sad). Some stories did not have a strong plot. However the writing and descriptions are commendable. I particularly liked four stories – 1) Winterscope 2) Rooftop Dwellers 3) Diamond Dust. 4) Th
Aug 25, 2007 Rahat rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hit or miss.

On the whole, Anita Desai is an impressive writer. But I believe her short stories lacked cohesion; some stories just seemed pointless. Admittedly, each story was unique, but they lacked consistency.

However, the last one, The Rooftop Dwellers, was delightful and memorable. This story, I believe, saved the entire short story collection.
Lynda Alsford
May 21, 2012 Lynda Alsford rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the stories and I like her use of language. I found it easy to imagine the places she described and got into the story and characters quickly. But as always with short stories I am often so sorry it isn't a longer story. It ends too soon. We read this for my book group and its encouraged me to maybe try one of her novels.
Jan 22, 2011 Randa rated it it was ok
Snapshots from the lives of ordinary people in Britain, Canada, India, and Mexico among others. These stories have rich descriptions but they do not really contain a plot in the traditional sense. They are best viewed as short vignettes in the lives of the people. There is a little shadow of sadness in all of them. My favourite was Rooftop Dwellers, the last story in the collection.
I liked this collection of short stories. I picked up this book randomly out of my boyfriend's collection and decided to give it a try. I'm glad I did. There were a lot of special moments in the stories. My favorite is the last story, about the single woman in Delhi.
Feb 05, 2012 Manish rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful collection of short stories from the inimitable Anita Desai. The best ones were probably the one recreating the buzz on a Himalayan highway caused by a stubborn driver refusing to move forward and the one detailing the travails of a single working woman living in a barsati in Delhi.
Feb 17, 2011 Mandy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2010
I enjoyed this book on the whole, but felt that the book was written to descibe or explain India to those who don't know it, and I was a bit fed up of the way things happen in India in the end. I wanted a tale about someone where India wasn't a part of the story.
is actually a dog known as the beast.

anita desai writes beautifully and even though i don't really like short stories, hers are compelling and intriguing.

I especially like the rooftop dwellers.
Mar 25, 2010 Elaine rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010-reads
I'm not a short story fan, but I'm very impressed with the stories in this book. Very well written, clear characterisation, and good storylines, but just too short.
It was an enjoyable and worthwhile read.
Kate Schindler
Sep 02, 2010 Kate Schindler rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: asia
These were interesting. Not all about Indian families, it turned out. She's a great writer, and I loved the pictures she painted, but I was a little annoyed because I like my stories to have endings and hers mostly didn't. I just prefer closure to possibilities in my fiction.
Nov 13, 2014 Yahana rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
An ivory tower literati product that selectively perpetuates a dark, dreary image of India that is popular with some foreigners and the pseudo elite of India. Shades of Dilli Durbar.

I found little beauty in this book, only sorrow.
Jun 14, 2010 Nora rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A quiet but deeply satisfying collection of short fictions detailing events that lead characters to irrevocably cross the invisible line separating their pasts from new experiences, new insights, and new existences.
Jun 11, 2014 Barbara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A delightful book of short stories. Some very good descriptions throughout and many characters you wanted to get to know more about.

This may be the first Anita Desai book I've read but I doubt it will be my last.
Peter Atkinson
Dec 03, 2012 Peter Atkinson rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Too much Dust, not enough Diamonds...
Aug 22, 2011 Brooks rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Incredibly dull short stories - couldn't finish.
A. Moses Levitt
Nov 20, 2009 A. Moses Levitt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
ga mau ngomong dulu...lgi seru.
Gemma Williams
Jan 23, 2008 Gemma Williams rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very lovely book of short stories from Anita Desai. Occasionally funny, often melancholy and always perceptive.
Jun 19, 2007 Kate rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorite collections of short stories! Some of the word-images still come to mind even now. Beautifully written.
Jul 26, 2011 SanjeeB rated it it was amazing
Brilliant!! It's amazing the way she manipulates the English language to create vivid images and emotions!
Kiran Desai's mother. Life in India.
Apr 29, 2015 Kate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful selection of thought provoking stories. I particularly enjoyed Winterscape and the "Man who saw himself drown". I am sure it is a collection I will return to again and again.
WF Boey
WF Boey rated it really liked it
May 09, 2017
Sridevi Prasad
Sridevi Prasad rated it liked it
Jun 18, 2015
Sharon Chirichillo
Sharon Chirichillo rated it really liked it
Jul 22, 2012
Kelsey rated it liked it
Jan 25, 2013
Yogita rated it it was ok
Jul 10, 2015
Pinkee rated it did not like it
Jan 22, 2014
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Anita Desai was born in 1937. Her published works include adult novels, children's books and short stories. She is a member of the Advisory Board for English of the National Academy of Letters in Delhi and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in London. Anita Mazumdar Desai is an Indian novelist and Emeritus John E. Burchard Professor of Humanities at the Massachusetts Institute of Technolo ...more
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