Ticket to Minto: Stories of India and America (Iowa Short Fiction Award) (英語) ペーパーバック – 2001/10
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"Ticket to Minto, " Sohrab Homi Fracis's premier fiction collection, offers readers a passage to an unfamiliar destination-a world suspended between East and West, India and America, home and away.
With piercing insight, Fracis expertly reveals the underlying differences between immersion in India's culture-Hindu, Muslim, or Parsi-and life as an Indian in America. Alternating between East and West, the stories in "Ticket to Minto" serve as companion pieces, interrelated across continents in both theme and content. A middle-aged man's search for love in Bombay is contrasted with an Indian American family's hopes for the marriage of their westernized daughter. A university student rushes to save the life of a servant in his homeland only to find his own life threatened while attending graduate school in America.
Poignant and daring, "Ticket to Minto" underlines the harsh realization that the immigrant never truly arrives but is in constant limbo between two worlds. As one character relates, "There's a part of me that's American and a part that's Indian. I'm clear about that and comfortable with it, except that sometimes people want me to be just the one or the other."
"A subtle understanding of human nature, clarity, and intelligence inform this splendid collection. Sohrab Fracis's accurate eye for sensual detail is as evocative of the sights, sounds, and smells of India as it is of the lonelier landscapes of his domicile in America. An original voice stamped with veracity."--Bapsi Sidhwa, author of "The Crow Eaters" and "Cracking India"
"Reading "Ticket to Minto" was an emotional and intellectual joyride I did "not" want to end. Here is a writer who leaps headlong into the creative furnace--daring, energetic, fresh! This collection of stories will haunt me for years to come."--Susan Power
Reading "Ticket to Minto" was an emotional and intellectual joyride I did "not" want to end. Here is a writer who leaps headlong into the creative furnace daring, energetic, fresh! This collection of stories will haunt me for years to come. Susan Power"
A subtle understanding of human nature, clarity, and intelligence inform this splendid collection. Sohrab Fracis's accurate eye for sensual detail is as evocative of the sights, sounds, and smells of India as it is of the lonelier landscapes of his domicile in America. An original voice stamped with veracity. Bapsi Sidhwa, author of "The Crow Eaters" and "Cracking India""商品の説明をすべて表示する
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Sohrab Fracis creates a rich variety of Indian characters, beginning with the Parsi schoolboy whose religious faith helps him defeat a bully in the first story, "Ancient Fire" and ending with an Indian-American whose artistic faith keeps him going as a talented author in the last story, "The Mark Twain Overlook."
I notice an underlying sensibility in this collection that appears almost like a character. This sensibility is upper class, cultured, dynamic. It thrives on nuance, at times challenges with ambiguity. It lives as an uneasy minority in India and in America. It values stability and family life but prefers mobility and single life. It searches for love less by convention and more on its own complex terms. It portrays promiscuity with serio-comic effect. It feels for the downtrodden and is painfully aware of class divisions that contribute to India's misery. It casts a keen eye at American provincialism and residual racism. It understands the dilemma of mainstream Americans who are identified with past wrongs to minorities and are trying to right the wrongs but in ways that bring the mainstream more condemnation. It empathizes with the elderly, especially with those who live their declining years with calm and dignity.
It often closes stories with images of remarkable subtlety like the broken tree branch in "Stray" and the drifting hairs of a pickled rabbit's paw in "Rabbit's Foot" (stories in which students from India feel the tug of their country's traditions and life in contemporary America). Arguably, the most skillful use of imagery occurs in the conclusion of "Keeping Time." Here music and writing interweave to underscore an aging piano teacher's alleviation of frustrations and sadness with stoic acceptance.
The stories are set in India and the United States, related by their protagonists - Indian people of different religious groups - Hindu, Muslim, or Parsi - who are condemned to live as outsiders and strangers, abroad in America or even at home in India. Fracis writes about his characters with knife-like insight, but not without humour and poignancy, to show their (inner) struggle. His protagonists fight for recognition, search for love, and try to live a decent live. The writing draws the reader into the stories and into the live of those people. The narrative voice is so startling and colourful and one that takes the reader along on an unforgettable journey between two continents.
I came across the book by chance - but this has been one of the luckiest coincidences ever. I translated the story "Keeping Time" into German and read it to friends and other audiences. The responses were great. It is the underlying universal validity of the stories that make the collection a rewarding read for people even outside India and the United States.
I recommend this book highly to anyone who likes valuable literature and is interested in Indian an American contemporary life and life in general. I can't wait to read more by Sohrab Homi Fracis.