The short stories in the collection blend emotion and
introspection. Moments of urgency and sweetness are fully
canvassed and explored. The stories draw out and examine the
texture of emotional belonging. In "His Curls", a mother suffers
the anguish of wondering if her son is a terrorist. The ending is
left to interpretation and several possibilities. The reader is
forced to teeter between laughter and sadness in the tragicomedy of "An
Indian Summer". "The Blue Arc" is a redemptive tale of a young
woman who shows enormous courage. Each story in the collection is a
journey of insights. Transactions of Belonging is a unique,
intense and gripping work of short fiction.
Chitra Divakaruni, author of
The Mistress of spices and Oleander Girl:
"In this debut collection, Jaya Padmanabhan has brought
together a diverse and memorable group of characters from many kinds of
backgrounds. With meticulous details and keen observation, she
brings them to life and makes us care about them - their poverty, their
loneliness, their tragedies and their triumphs."
"The minute the book reaches your hand you think about the two
eyes, wonder what secret might be lurking in them, wonder what questions
they are raising and wonder why half the face is hidden.
When you start reading and finish each story, you realise why the face
is not revealed. The face could be yours or mine, the story could be his
or hers. The 12 stories are very humane and some of them very
disturbing and hauntingly beautiful.”
"This book is a collection of 12 short stories of all varieties. Though
this is her debut, the author easily manages to imprint in our minds her
flair for evoking an epiphany at the end of every story. With extreme
attention to detail, she intricately describes her scenes and characters
that is a trademark of a good author. Similarly, her acute insights
into the workings of the human mind are clearly evident in her
characters and their development. The diversity in her characters and
her narration makes each character different from one another. The best
thing about author Jaya Padhmanabhan’s stories are the way they end.
Most of them are left open for the reader’s to interpret, similar to her
My favorites of these stories are: The Blue Arc that tells the story of a
young sex worker who seeks the path of liberation, Neiappams – just the
character Sankar made me love this story, His Curls – A story of how a
mom sees her son’s growth from innocence to violence, helplessly, and
Curtains Drawn – a somber story on how a child’s innocence can be
destroyed by the thoughtless actions and ignorance of his parents.
One of the best books from Indian authors that I have read recently, put this book on your To-Read list without fail.”
Hemant Kumar Jain:
"An interesting set of stories.
Intense, Unpredictable, even Strange at times.
Enjoyed reading them"
� 2013 Jaya
Padmanabhan. All Rights Reserved