Welcome to the first Blurb Appreication Review:
Confused about what it is?
Click here before reading on!
About The Blurb:
The above blurb says it all and I feel that I have nothing much to add about the setting and themes of the stories.
But I would like to focus your attention to the picture at the bottom of the back cover. Looks scary, right?
Well it is meant to be.
Sri Lanka, according to many myths, was supposed to have been ruled by rakshashas or demons. The picture you see at the bottom is the Naga Rakshasa mask (Snake Demon mask) which is worn during rituals or performances to exorcise the demons or the rakshasas. Notice the many snakes on the top of the mask!
Now that is what I call a kick ass blurb-it not only tells you what the book is about but entices you with a bonus picture too that lets you know more about the setting!
A Quick Word:
While the blurb covers mostly what I would have wanted to say about this collection, I would like to add that The Ayah and Other Stories by Chanis Fernando Boisard consists of myriad short stories that plough through many themes under the sun.
Boisard makes the short story her own, deftly and sparsely writing about different characters and anecdotes from her own life with such few words that hit you in the gut so much so that it would put Hemingway to shame.
Perhaps owing to the author’s gender, majority of the characters in The Ayah and Other Stories are female that are seen going through various emotions and stages (which is refreshing since till now I have only read male Sri Lankan authors) be it from losing one’s baggage at the airport or losing one’s beloved ayah, from a girl’s return to Jaffna to search for both her identity and father to a girl’s last day in Colombo marked by a near death experience and so many more such nuanced characters are waiting in this collection. Some stories have anonymous characters, some are autobiographical while others end on unexpected notes.
My favourite stories are Journey to Jaffna, Traveller’s Diary: Laos (this story has such a wonderful visuality to it with a practical personal touch to it!), The Moon Sisters, Rohitha’s Cross, and The Letter.
But through all the stories, we briefly get a glimpse of the many characters’ lives and problems, and albeit they are short and less detailed, they still provide what is called “a slice of life.”
And isn’t that what a short story should do?