Sandhya's Reviews > Diamond Dust: Stories

Diamond Dust by Anita Desai
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May 12, 2009

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Read in June, 2009

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 all. When one writes about Indians and Indian setting in English, there is always a conflict wherein one wants to write elegant English and yet retain the local flavour. I think Desai just discounts this, whereby some of the dialogues just don't ring true.

But don't let that put you off. Because there's a great deal of artistry in the book, the themes are different....the language is exquisite at points (yet, some metaphors didn't quite work for me).

While some stories may not be that easy to get through, there are at least a couple of them which are very accessible and enjoyable. My favourites were The Rooftop Dwellers about a single girl's predicament in a big city like Delhi and Winterscape, a evocative tale of two sisters, their shifting fates that ultimately becomes one!
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