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Book Review

Book For All Chiroptophobics

Transgression leads to transcendence in this genre-bending novel, as shape-­shifting ideologies are left for universal humanism by characters who morph into bats

Book For All Chiroptophobics
Book For All Chiroptophobics
outlookindia.com
2019-04-26T11:40:32+05:30

A Secret History of Compassion is about a popular novelist, Spider, who has been commissioned by the Communist Party to write an essay on the mutually exclusive existence of a human quality like mercy, and capitalism. Spider’s project gradually turns out to be a collaborative one involving a professional executioner, Jesus Pillai, Spider’s dog and his philosopher wife, Rosi. In the course of the enterprise, the characters become bats, fly around, and voyeurism is justified as a witnessing method to miracles.

Paul Zacharia is a leading Malayalam writer and public intellectual. Some of his fiction are outstanding in their psychoanalytic astu­teness and structural strengths. He is not easily swayed by conventions, and has very often courted controversies. A Secret History is his foray into Anglo­phone fiction. It is likely to have a perplexing effect on the reader.

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