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Review

A Deep, Light Dolore

With their subtle colouring of death, caste, music and natural life, and often about women staring challenges out, Ambai’s stories whisper quotidian tales

A Deep, Light Dolore
Photograph by Getty Images
A Deep, Light Dolore
outlookindia.com
2017-10-21T10:32:06+05:30

For decades now, Ambai has dev­eloped a signature short story. A delicate, almost tremulous acc­ount of a moment, rippling outward into a life; almost always a female protagonist at the centre, but often men in it too, portrayed with the same sensitivity and tenderness; the animal world and the world of nature brushing against and illuminating the human; and, most of all, a quietness and ordinariness that carries incendiary reverberations.

A Night With a Black Spider is a collection of 17 such stories that leave the reader alternately laughing and in tears and always wiser. Building on the rem­arkable stories of her earlier collections—A Purple Sea, In a Forest A Deer and Fish in a Dwindling Lake, these stories share the formal and thematic qualities of those stories but, in a departure, foreground concerns around caste and death.

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