Boats On Land: A Collection Of Short Stories is set in India’s Northeast, in Assam, Shillong and elsewhere in Meghalaya. These intriguing tales give the reader a peek into the Northeast, its culture and the changes that affected the region.
Summary Of The Book
These are tales about India’s Northeast. These stories weave a magical web of fascinating myths and legends, and quaint beliefs, all blending with contemporary reality in each story. The stories cover a big timespan, from the 1800s to the current times.
India’s Northeast is not much explored in mainstream Indian English literature. Boats On Land: A Collection Of Short Stories is one of the few books that fills that gap. The writer is from Shillong and belongs to the Khasi community. The Khasis have a wonderful tradition of storytelling, and the author has grown up hearing many stories. She has used these legends and folklore as a base or background, lending a magical quality to the tales.
There are 15 stories in this collection, and they deal with a wide variety of themes and times. The stories are about dreams, loss, yearnings, and teenage angst. All these themes blend with folklore and fairy tales, myths and legends and still paint a compelling portrait of the changing social and political landscape. The ancient Khasi traditions, the changes brought on by the Europeans and the missionaries, the impact of the British rule, and the unrest between the Khasis and the outsiders all form a backdrop to the stories.
One of the stories, Laitlum, is about two girls who live in a protective environment, who are longing to break out. One of them has become a bit of a rebel. In Echo Words, the mysterious disappearance of a couple sparks rumors and wild speculations. They escalate and people start digging up the marshy land to find the bodies, believing the couple have been victims of foul play.
Boats On Land: A Collection Of Short Stories conveys a deep empathy with the people and the land and its culture. The author weaves in descriptions of the beautiful landscape and old beliefs into the stories that take the reader into the narrative and gets them identifying themselves with the characters.
About Janice Pariat
Janice Pariat is an Indian writer.
She has contributed to anthologies of poetry like Kavi Kala: The Visual Poetry Project and The Yellow Nib Modern English Poetry By Indians.
Janice Pariat was born in Assam. She grew up in Shillong. She has a degree in English Literature from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi. She has a Master’s degree in the History of Art from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London. Her book, Boats On Land: A Collection Of Short Stories won a Sahitya Akademi Young Writer Award.
10 Oct, 2012
Gripping and oddly interesting!
24 Jan, 2014
19 Oct, 2012
Bewitching and exquisite!
14 Nov, 2012
A great read
9 Nov, 2012
Not at all satisfied, never ever before there was such inordinate delay.
Dr. Robin dutta.
30 Jun, 2014