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Difficult Pleasures is the collection of 13 short stories about protagonists from different walks of life and how they react to certain critical incidents that take place, and how those incidents have a profound influence on their lives.
Summary Of The Book
One of the stories in Difficult Pleasures is about a school boy, who gets a chance to enact the role of a talking mushroom in his school play. The young boy is thrilled and anxiously preparing and waiting for the day of the show. But on the morning of the show, he comes to learn that his mother has left them after quarrelling with his father. The author has focused on the boy’s emotional turmoil at the prospect of both his parents not attending what he perceives as a great event in his life.
In the story, Banerjee and Banerjee, an Indian economist working in Paris receives the news that his brother is dead. Though there never was any brotherly relationship between them, he drives all the way to Sweden hoping to redeem a tragic situation.
The Big Picture is about the experience of Mrs. Ali, a painter, and her conclusions about the world after her trip to Europe. Another story narrates the plight of a village boy, who after cutting short his studies, goes to Bangalore hoping for a bright future. Immanuel Kant in Shillong is about a worried Professor who is visiting Shillong with the memories of the time he had shared with his deceased wife. In History of Touch there is a stranger in the protagonist’s bed whom she does not seem to recognize.
There is a similar pattern in the behaviour of the characters in this collection of stories by Anjum Hasan. They reflect the pressures of the urban life on the characters. There is an unfulfilled desire to belong and the need to seek answers by escaping.
About Anjum Hasan
Anjum Hasan is an Indian novelist and poet. She was born in Shillong and is presently living in Bangalore. She has contributed articles, short stories, and poems to several publications at the national and international levels.
Anjum’s other books are Lunatic In MY Head, Street On The Hill, and Neti, Neti. Street On The Hill is her first collection of poems. Her stories are neither too dramatic nor action-packed.
She studied Philosophy at the North-Eastern Hill University.