Unicorn Expedition

Satyajit Ray, Author
Satyajit Ray, Author Dutton Books $16.95 (190p) ISBN 978-0-525-24544-5
Reviewed on: 06/26/1987
Release date: 07/01/1987
This charming collection of modern-day folk tales proves that the author is as skillful a writer as he is a filmmaker. These 11 stories are in every sense of the word a family affair; originally they appeared in the magazine Sandesh, founded by Ray's grandfather, and draw heavily on characters developed by his father, known as the Edward Lear of India. Many of the stories deal, as do Ray's films, with a search for identity. In ""The Night of the Indigo,'' a young Indian with aspirations as a writer finds himself reliving the last night of a British indigo planter who died a century before. In ``Ratanbabu and That Man,'' a middle-aged bachelor meets his double while on vacation. Other tales deal with a common motif of Indo-European literaturethe sanctity of the life of an animal. In ``Khagam'' a visitor who kills the snake of a holy man finds himself undergoing a metamorphosis; in ``Corvus'' a crow outwits an evil magician. All told, this collection offers a delightful sampler of Indian culture and mores. (July 6)
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