In My Hands Today…

Boats on Land – Janice Pariat

16069752Boats on Land is a collection of short stories that offer a new way of looking at the world, and, in particular, India’s little-known northeast. Set in and around Shillong, Cherrapunjee and pockets of Assam, these tales are shaped against a larger historical canvas of the early days of the British Raj, the World Wars, conversions to Christianity, and the missionaries.

Spanning a sweep of centuries, from the mid-1800s to the present day, the stories work as a historical, sociological documentation of a place and its people, interweaving the quotidian and the mythic, the mundane and the extraordinary.

This is a world in which every day is infused with folklore and a deep belief in the supernatural. Here, a girl dreams of being a firebird. An artist watches souls turn into trees. A man shape-shifts into a tiger. Another is bewitched by water fairies. Political struggles and social unrest interweave with fireside tales and age-old superstitions.

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