cover image A Life of Adventure and Delight

A Life of Adventure and Delight

Akhil Sharma. Norton, $24.95 (192p) ISBN 978-0-393-28534-5

The eight stories in this collection from the author of Family Life follow modern Indians at home and abroad as they face the trials of marriage, parenthood, and assimilation. In “Cosmopolitan,” the solid first story, a husband abandoned by his wife and daughter begins a short-lived affair with his reticent neighbor. In “Surrounded by Sleep,” a young boy reevaluates his worldview after a freak accident forces his brother into a coma. A wife in an arranged marriage tries to recapture the fleeting moment she felt love for her husband in “If You Sing Like That For Me.” The title story is the collection’s most accomplished, relating the romantic highs and lows of an Indian PhD student in New York City with wry humor and psychological complexity. While there are moments of genuine insight and heartbreak, the collective effect of the stories seems subdued to a fault. Those seeking quiet moments of revelation will find them here. (July)