The Artist of Disappearance

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9780099553953: The Artist of Disappearance

Finalist for the Pen/Faulkner Award for Fiction

“The excellent strength [the novellas] share is a gracefulness and dreamlike sonority, reminiscent of writers like Jhumpa Lahiri and W.G. Sebald, wherein strange evolutions of solitary lives are the rule, and readers are held by the stately, hypnotic dignity of the voice that tells them.” – San Francisco Chronicle

Set in modern India, these three novellas move beyond the cities to places still haunted by the past, and to characters who are, each in their own way, masters of self-effacement. An unnamed government official is called upon to inspect a faded mansion of forgotten treasures where he discovers a surprise "relic." A translator blurs the line between writer and translator, and in so doing risks unraveling her desires and achievements. In the title novella, a hermit hidden away in the woods with a secret is discovered by a film crew, which compels him to withdraw even further until he magically disappears . . .

Rich and evocative, remarkable in their clarity and sensuous in their telling, these novellas remind us of the extraordinary yet delicate power of this pre-eminent writer.

“Desai, at her best, offers enchanting, subtle, and deeply observed portraits of layered characters trapped between worlds.” – Daily Beast

“Lingers in the memory the same way these landscapes and people of India prove impossible to forget.” – Boston Globe

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From the Inside Flap:

A triptych of beautifully crafted novellas make up Anita Desai s exquisite new book. Set in modern India, but where history still casts a long shadow, the stories move beyond the cities to places still haunted by the past, and to characters who are, each in their own way, masters of self-effacement.
In The Museum of Final Journeys an unnamed government official is called upon to inspect a faded mansion of forgotten treasures, each sent home by the absent, itinerant master. As he is taken through the estate, wondering whether to save these precious relics, he reaches the final greatest gift of all, looming out of the shadows.
In Translator, Translated, middle-aged Prema meets her successful publisher friend Tara at a school reunion. Tara hires her as a translator, but Prema, buoyed by her work and the sense of purpose it brings, begins deliberately to blur the line between writer and translator, and in so doing risks unravelling her desires and achievements.
The final story is of Ravi, living hermit-like in the burnt-out shell of his family home high up in the Himalayan mountains. He cultivates not only silence and solitude but a secret hidden away in the woods, concealed from sight. When a film crew from Delhi intrude upon his seclusion, it compels him to withdraw even further until he magically and elusively disappears
Rich and evocative, remarkable in their clarity and sensuous in their telling, these stories remind us of the extraordinary yet delicate power of this pre-eminent writer.
"

About the Author:

ANITA DESAI is the author of Fasting, Feasting, Baumgartner’s Bombay, Clear Light of Day, and Diamond Dust, among other works. Three of her books have been shortlisted for the Booker Prize. Desai was born and educated in India and now lives in the New York City area.

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Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 2012. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. A triptych of beautifully crafted novellas make up Anita Desai s exquisite new book. Set in modern India, but where history still casts a long shadow, the stories move beyond the cities to places still haunted by the past, and to characters who are, each in their own way, masters of self-effacement. Rich and evocative, remarkable in their clarity and sensuous in their telling, these stories remind us of the extraordinary yet delicate power of this pre-eminent writer. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780099553953

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