The Gap-Toothed Banister - A Tale of Anglo-India is a close, compassionate look by Juliette Banerjee, an Anglo-Indian, at her community facing the challenges of change.
It portrays with clarity the lives of Anglo-Indians in Calcutta during the 60s and 70s.
In a shabby apartment block in Central Calcutta, four families, the Renshaws, the DCruzes, the Johnsons and the Vincents live in harmony.
This smooth tempo changes forever one humid night when one of the families children are singled out, one lauded, the other randomly attacked.
Tragedy and horror seem to haunt the apartment block. The next day a resident is raped by a servant. The social fabric has been rent in a way that tilts this world. It brings together all the other families of the mansion, as this block of flats is wryly nicknamed.
The Gap-Toothed Banister is a love story, not in kindergarten hues but with softer colours of hope and faith. It is a story of a people more confused than disloyal, puzzled by a lack of appreciation for their myriad talent and fuelled by an anger at what is perceived as scornful rejection. The Gap-Toothed Banister will be of immense interest to all curious about the mores and magic of Anglo-India.
About the Author
Juliette Banerjee is the author of The Boyfriend and Other Short Stories, and Flowers from a Book, a volume of poetry. Born in Kolkata, she lives with her family in Sydney since 1987.
Juliette has been a school teacher as well as a columnist, theatre critic, feature writer and book reviewer both in Kolkata and Sydney for major newspapers and magazines, including The Statesman, Junior Statesman (JS) and The Illustrated Weekly of India. In Australia, she has contributed to The Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian and The Telegraph.
She is a voracious reader and a film junkie. She enjoys playing the piano. Her other love is the sea and she is an enthusiastic volunteer at the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney.