Author: Manjushree Thapa
Publisher: Aleph Book Company
ISBN/UPC (if available): 9789382277514
Comprising perfectly crafted micro stories, and stories of conventional length, Tilled Earth offers glimpses into the private dramas of people caught midlife: an elderly woodworker loses his way in a modern Kathmandu neighborhood; a homesick expatriate nurses a hangover; a clerk at the Ministry of Home Affairs learns to play Solitaire on the computer; a young woman goes to Seattle as a student, and finds herself becoming an illegal alien; a retired secretary visits the Buddha’s birthplace, Lumina, only to find his deepest insecurities exposed.
Quirky, but excellent, short stories … written with the right touch of poetry that turns the mundane into he magical.
= The Telegraph
Thapa paints her protagonists finely and weaves them into images of the new and old Nepal, a nation now going through a transformation so drastic that it seems unrecognizable from even [a few] years ago.'
= Hindustan Times
'The stories in [Tilled Earth] are full or scattered pieces of sudden insight… Thapa is profoundly attuned to the rhythm and idiom of her native soil.'
= The Kathmandu Post
'Manjushree Thapa continues to use language with skill and insight with discretion. These stories do not burst upon you with an éclat…rather, they sort of steal upon you, leaving you with a faint, almost elusive. Shock of recognition.'
Manjushree Thapa's stories fall into the category that the Japanese call "palm-of-the-hand" stories. Some of them are just a page long, delicate or witty sketches that trace a mood, or a moment[…] Thapa's skill is in evoking the passage of time and recording tectonic shifts of cultural disruption with an eye that is both clinical and as delicate as the flutter of a butterfly's wings […] There is both a sense of despair and celebration that is brilliantly balanced.'
= India Today
'Not a single story in this collection disappoints. The writing is simple and uncluttered, unlike the lives of some of Thapa's characters and in contrast to the changes Nepal has experienced in recent years […] Tilled Earth is a quiet, thoughtful collection of stories; nothing dramatic or melodramatic, but intense nonetheless.'
= SAWNET Book Reviews
'Thapa's characters are refreshingly real, and her writing is entertaining […] The crispness of her tone and her gentle humor speak volumes for her self-assurance as a writer. Her people-old woodworkers, retired babus, lyricist-politicians, engineers, feminists, NGO employees, old Civil Servants and American Leftists-are all etched in precisely, with fondness and dignity.'
= Time Out
'Some of [Thapa's] short stories beautifully evoke an entire world in just one or two paragraphs […] Thana's irony [can be] crushing, but it is when she leaves some channel of redemption open for her characters that Tilled Earth is most satisfying.'
Heera Maharjan Loses His Way
Sound That the Tongue Learns to Make
Nineteen Years His Junior
The Secretary of the Student Union Makes a Career Choice
Three Hundred Rupees
I Don’t Like Shanta Khanal
In This World As a Betel Nut
The Student in Love
The Hungry Statistician
The Buddha in the Earth-Touching Posture
Ta’Angzoum among the Cows
The Newly Appointed Chemistry Professor
The Eldest Son Thinks of Home
The European Fling
The Girl of No Age
Credits and Acknowledgements