Aerogrammes: and Other Stories-Tania James

Aerogrammes: and Other Stories

Tania James

Knopf, May 15 2012, $24.00

ISBN: 9780307268914

 

“Lion and Panther in London.”  In 1910 Gama the Great India wrestling champ comes to London but no one challenges him until the John Bull Tournament is arranged to crown the world champ.

 

“What To Do with Henry?”  Retired Ohio teacher Pearl travels to Sierra Leone to bring to Canton the daughter Neneh her husband sired during one of his research trips.  Henry the chimpanzee joins them.

 

“The Gulf.”  In India she was four when her father left to work in Dubai; she is eight when a stranger insists he is her dad.

 

“The Scriptological Review: A Last Letter from the Editor.”  Scriptological Review editor Vijay studies his father’s handwriting trying to understand his death.

 

“Aerogrammes.”  Newcomer Hari hates Renaissance Gardens where his family dumped him but he has no options while waiting for a son who never seems to visit him until he meets demented May.

 

“Ethnic Ken.”  Ammu the tweener visits her grandfather but detests his behavior as being old fashion even as she needs her Barbie to have a Ken.

 

“Light & Luminous,”  In India Minal the dance instructor desperately wants to win the contest, but upsets her students as she acts the diva instead of the mentoring teacher.

 

“Escape Key.”  Neet teaches creative writing near Boston.  When his brother fell off a roof, he returned home to India while realizing his fiction is terrible.

 

“Girl Marries Ghost.”  Lonely Gina meets once married Hank the ghost who looks forward to marrying her so he can return to the physical world;

 

These are nine excellent shorts that probe the diversity of loneliness when one feels like a stranger in a strange land whether a person is home or living in a foreign land.

 

Harriet Klausner

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