When lyricist and poet Gulzar goes into raptures over a book, one can be sure it has much to offer.
"I am lucky to have got 'Anthology of New Writing by Women Writers', otherwise I would have missed some brilliant fiction writings. But why separate them as Women Writers? They are at par with the world standard. Read brilliant fiction without any prejudice of the gender."
Written by women authors from around the world, the 18 short stories in "The Punch Magazine Anthology of New Writing: Select Short Stories by Women Writers", edited and introduced by The Punch Magazine's Founder and Publisher Shireen Quadri and published by Niyogi Books, are steeped in the cultural moorings of the places they are set in — from Kashmir to Kerala, and from Washington and London to Rome. They speak of our times — the way we live, the way we love.
The stories featured in this anthology reflect a certain kind of sensibility and sensitivity. It takes us along the pathways these writers forge to create art out of the rhythms and ruptures of life, dwelling on their characters' experiences and memories of a thousand pleasures and pains suspended in the continuum of time — portraying the concerns and preoccupations of individuals both within and outside the precincts of home.
Faith plays a pivotal role — provides a mythical, ethical, and moral scaffolding of this heart-rending novel, which resonates with the agony and pathos of the human spirit caught in the travails of earthly life.
The Anthology features the works of Ameta Bal, Anila SK, Anjali Doney, Geetha Nair G. Helen Harris, Humra Quraishi, Jayshree Misra Tripathi, Latha Anantharaman, Meena Menon, Meher Pestonji, Rinita Banerjee, Rochelle Potkar, Sarah Robertson, Shilpa Raina, Tammy Armstrong, Vineetha Mokkil, and Vrinda Baliga.
Talking about this unique collection, Quadri says: "Short fiction has always fascinated writers around the world. Of late, there has been a growing interest in the form that condenses the human experience and yet is able to capture its depth. In this anthology, the short stories by contemporary women writers show us how they compress the composites of life as well as expand its complexities and contradictions."
Commenting on the book, Trisha Niyogi, COO and Director, Niyogi Books, says: "This anthology is a window into the lived experiences of myriad characters navigating the ups and downs of life and love. Though our authors have been identified as women, their stories represent the universal human voice." (IANS)