Story-Wallah! A Celebration of South Asian Fiction
Thomas Allen & Son Ltd, Canada, 2004
Writers of South Asian descent have been garnering more and more success, acclaim, and attention. Story-Wallah gathers the finest South Asian voices in fiction for the first time in a single volume. As Shyam Selvadurai writes in his introduction, “The stories jostle up against each other … The effect is a marvelous cacophony that reminds me of … one of those South Asian bazaars, a bargaining, carnival-like milieu. The goods on sale in this instance being stories hawked by story-traders: story-wallahs.” In this book, some of the world's best fiction writers—Salman Rushdie, Anita Desai, Michael Ondaatje, Monica Ali etc—hawk their wares from different parts of the South Asian diaspora creating a virtual map of the world with their tales. These stories explore universal themes of identity, culture, and home, and Story-Wallah includes a rich array of experiences: a honeymoon in Sri Lanka, the trials of a Bangladeshi refugee in England, life on a sugar plantation in Trinidad, the attempts of an Indian family to arrange a marriage for their rebellious daughter. This anthology is essential reading for anyone with an interest in South Asian writers and the dynamic, important tales they have to tell.
“[O]nly those with an already intimate knowledge of South Asian diasporic fiction in English could fail to come away with an enriched perspective on the role of literature in a world shaped by migration and encounter.” —Quill and Quire