Book Review: Boats on Land by Janice Pariat


·         ISBN – 9788184003390

·         Genre: Fiction

·         Publishers: Random House

·         Price: Rs. 399/- (I got this book from the publisher for a review)

Boats on Land is a unique way of looking at India’s northeast and its people against a larger historical canvas the early days of the British Raj, the World Wars, conversions to Christianity, and the missionaries. Boats on Land quietly captures our fragile and awkward place in the world.
Behind The book

Source: Google Images

This is a world where the everyday is infused with the folkloric and supernatural. Here, a girl dreams of being a firebird. An artist watches souls turn into trees. A man shape-shifts into a tiger. Another is bewitched by water fairies. Political struggles and social unrest interweave with fireside tales and age-old superstitions.

About the author

Janice is the author of Boats on Land: A Collection of Short Stories (Random House India, 2012). She was awarded the Yuva Puraskar (Young Writer Award) from the Sahitya Akademi (Indian National Academy of Letters) and the Crossword Book Award for fiction.

She studied English Literature at St Stephen’s College, Delhi, and History of Art at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London. Her work – including art reviews, cultural features, book reviews, fiction and poetry – has featured in a wide number of national magazines & newspapers. She was editor of Pyrta, an online literary journal of poetry, prose, photo essays and sketches.

Janice is currently the Charles Wallace Writer in Residence at the University of Kent, Canterbury. She lives between the UK and India.

Me thinks

I somehow love short stories a lot for in a few words they have a lot to convey and sometimes leave behind a lot of it unsaid and yet heard. The moment I saw the praises heaped on this book I knew I had to read this one for one it was a collection of short stories and secondly the recognition was tempting enough. And I was not disappointed at all.

15 stories. Each unique and beautiful in its own complete self. Not only shows the writers brilliance at handling things but also the ease with which she has dealt with some very sensitive topics. The simplicity in the narrative leave behind a profound effect on the reader long after one has finished reading the book. She has really raised the bar high for short stories and I really look forward to other books from the author.

I recommend this book to each and every literature lover. This book is a sure treasure for every one’s collection. Not only to be read but also re-read again and again for it is like old wine, that gets better and better every time!

 Foodie Verdict
This book is like kababiyan bread - a Filipino dish which is crunchy in the outside and melts in your mouth on the inside!

Source: Google Images