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."

Goodreads reviews:
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22283154-transactions-of-belongings

Bhavya:
"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.”

Vaultofbooks.com:
"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 book’s title.

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"





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