Author: Rupa Bajwa
Publisher: Picador India
ISBN/UPC (if available): 9781447217749
Set partly in the small, buzzing town of Amritsar and partly in New Delhi, this is the story of Rani, a young woman in contemporary India. She enjoys her work in a local beauty parlor, loves telling bedtime stories to her little nephew, and is blissfully in love with Shahrukh Khan, the movie star. However, her lower middle-class family lives in a state of constant struggle–to make ends meet, to hang on to their dreams, to keep their fragile lives from collapsing.
As their financial troubles escalate, so do Rani’s sister-in-law’s taunts, brother’s frustration and father’s resignation. Emotions run high. Rani’s stories dry up. And here begins Rani’s solitary journey of love and loss.
Rani finds herself in Delhi, in a head-on collision with a world completely alien to her. She finds an unlikely ally in her employer, Sadhna, a stalled novelist, who has been unable to function in a savage literary marketplace.
Tell Me A Story displays remarkable clarity and depth in drawing up the real semi-urban living in India. Fragile and touching, it reminds us of how thin and tenuous are the connections which bind us to our illusory, sane-seeming lives.
Praise for Tell Me a Story
‘Bajwa has a way with language. She writes with ease and impeccable fluency, her character descriptions flawless as she eases the reader into the lives of various protagonists…’
‘Her restrained telling is reminiscent of Kamala Markandaya’s work.’
= Hindustan Times
‘Bajwa tells her story simply and directly. The pace is absorbing and the environment realistic.’
= The Statesman
‘Rupa’s strengths as a novelist lie in her ability to take an ordinary character and spin a captivating story out of the parenthesis of everyday routine.’
‘Rupa Bajwa writes in an unpretentious, small-town English perfectly suited to her unpretentious, small-town heroine.’
= The Hindu
‘… a superb use of the telling detail.’
= Deccan Herald
‘… Bajwa’s low-key approach to story-telling is so refreshing.’
‘Bajwa’s story is sincere and satisfying …’
= Time Out