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The Artist of Disappearance

Anita Desai

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Published by Chatto & Windus, part of Vintage Publishing

Format: Hardback

£12.99

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Details

EAN: 9780701186203
Published: 4 Aug 2011

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About the book

Synopsis

A triptych of beautifully crafted novellas make up Anita Desai's exquisite new book. Set in modern India, but where history still casts a long shadow, the stories move beyond the cities to places still haunted by the past, and to characters who are, each in their own way, masters of self-effacement.

In 'The Museum of Final Journeys' an unnamed government official is called upon to inspect a faded mansion of forgotten treasures, each sent home by the absent, itinerant master. As he is taken through the estate, wondering whether to save these precious relics, he reaches the final - greatest - gift of all, looming out of the shadows.

In 'Translator, Translated', middle-aged Prema meets her successful publisher friend Tara at a school reunion. Tara hires her as a translator, but Prema, buoyed by her work and the sense of purpose it brings, begins deliberately to blur the line between writer and translator, and in so doing risks unravelling her desires and achievements.

The final story is of Ravi, living hermit-like in the burnt-out shell of his family home high up in the Himalayan mountains. He cultivates not only silence and solitude but a secret hidden away in the woods, concealed from sight. When a film crew from Delhi intrudes upon his seclusion, it compels him to withdraw even further until he magically and elusively disappears...

Rich and evocative, remarkable in their clarity and sensuous in their telling, these stories remind us of the extraordinary yet delicate power of this pre-eminent writer.

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What the critics say

Bewitchingly beautiful
- The Times

To compare Anita Desai's fiction with that of Chekhov or the short stories of Tolstoy is not extravagant; it is entirely warranted... anyone looking for the rare frisson at the heart of consummate storytelling need look no farther
- Irish Times

A pleasure
- Telegraph

Anita Desai writes exquisitely.
- The Scotsman

About the Author

Anita Desai was born and educated in India. Her published works include many award-winning short story collections and novels, three of which have been shortlisted for the Booker Prize, most recently Fasting, Feasting. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and lives in New York State.

Anita Desai

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