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What You Call Winter: Stories

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  97 ratings  ·  19 reviews
Composed of interconnected stories that move within and around a small Catholic community in India, this debut collection heralds the arrival of a graceful, sparkling new voice.

Nine-year-old Marian Almeida covets the green dress her parents have set aside for her birthday, but when her desire gets the best of her, dangerous events ensue. Roddy D'Souza sees his long-dead fa
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published May 14th 2009 by Knopf (first published May 12th 2005)
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Aug 23, 2007 rated it really liked it
Another one of those debut collections of sensitively-written short stories by a half-Indian-half-American writer. So far, so ho-hum. But what makes Nalini Jones’ book unusual is her material: not the psyche of confused second-generation immigrants, but the human condition of the Catholic community in a suburb of Mumbai (called Santa Clara in the book, but obviously Bandra). It’s a subject rich with possibilities, and Jones does it full justice in these intertwined tales. (The rest of this revie ...more
Oct 19, 2007 rated it really liked it
This is Nalini Jones' first published book, and wow... what a fantastic job she did. The list of characters is enormous, and you really have to keep a piece of paper next to you to keep track of who the characters are.

A main theme found in this short story cycle is the displaced feeling that results from moving away from your home country, and then feeling like a half-stranger to both your new home and your old home.

I have to go back to working now - more later
Jul 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing
A remarkable collection of linked short stories. When I was done, I wanted to turn the book over and begin again. In particular, "Half the Story" left me speechless. The characters and place will stay with me a long time.
Nov 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Composed of interconnected stories that move within and around a small Catholic community in India, What You Call Winter manages to be both common place and fiercely unique. The portraits are nothing short of breath taking and there were times when I was in awe when I recognized where a story was going.
An auspicious debut.
Kang-Chun Cheng
Aug 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
so so beautiful. delicate, poignant, and incisive. narrating changes in human emotional journey
Elevate Difference
Jan 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Nalini Jones’ debut collection centers on the community of Santa Clara, a suburb of Mumbai, India that was built upon echoes of its Catholic faith. What You Call Winter consists of nine interwoven tales spanning three decades in a town where boundaries between family and community have faded like the once brightly colored walls framing the small houses. A sense of familial history is almost always contrasted with fragility, change, and departures. Upon leaving Santa Clara for the United States, ...more
Margaret1358 Joyce
Jun 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
These emotionally alive stories sparkle with intuitive sensibility. They depict a small handful of inter-related,modern minority Catholic Indian families living near Bombay, whose ranks are dwindling because of members,in each case, who have left for the USA but come back for visits. Sharply drawn images of domestic comings and goings and subtly expressed longings of those left behind,fill this beautifully written book.
Aug 17, 2009 rated it liked it
I enjoyed the perspective of the Indian families in this book, particularly since the represent the Catholic minority in the country. I think it added to my cultural awareness for such families living in the US, as some of the characters do.

Because this is a collection of interwoven stories that is not linear, I found it easier to follow when I started charting the relationships between characters in each story. I could then refer back to my notes as I read the next story.
Karen Carlson
Linked stories of an Indian extended family/community with themes of home and distance. Some stories are terrific; others a little hard to get a handle on. But overall quite nice. Detailed comments on all stories (with possible spoilers) blogged at A Just Recompense. ...more
Andrew Clem.
Jun 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
The collection had the overwhelming feeling of a dark, dusty room in a corner of post-Colonial Bombay. Jones presents an interconnected series of stories about a Catholic enclave slowly suffering from the ravages of time.
Dec 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Great collection of stories. Set in India but seems very much like the U.S. in many respects. Written by soomeone born and educated in the U.S., so perhaps that's why. Still, wonderful stories about family relationships, some of which are connected although separated by time and distance.
Meg Carroll
Jun 18, 2009 rated it really liked it
JOnes has written about a town in India that was influenced by the Portuguese, and the inhabitants are, therefore, primarily Catholic. The book seems to be a series of short stories, but is actually a novel comprised of multigenrational vignettes.
Oct 05, 2008 rated it liked it
well written stories; all of which seemed to blend together and weren't different enough to be a compelling collection though standing alone would have worked well.
Dec 31, 2008 rated it really liked it
I have really begun to enjoy short stories more lately, and this collection is very good. I like the way they are all linked in small ways to one another.
Oct 10, 2007 rated it it was ok
This book was interesting but not enough for me to finish it. I loved all the descriptions of food and the relationships in the short stories but it never really grabbed me.
Susan Bishop
Just started this collection of short stories - the author is my neighbor which makes the book that much more interesting! So far, so good.
Divya Kumar
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