The Middleman and Other Stories

Bharati Mukherjee, Author Grove/Atlantic $16.95 (197p) ISBN 978-0-8021-1031-2
As evidenced in her first short story collection Darkness and two novels, The Tiger's Daughter and Wife, Mukherjee's central preoccupation is the problematical nature of personal encounters between East and West. These expertly crafted tales continue to have that focus; all turn on recent Third World immigrant experience in or closely affected by North America. Mukherjee makes the ambitious attempt to narrate through the voices of characters as diverse as a middle-class Italian-American suburbanite, a Sephardic mercenary from Smyrna by way of Flushing, Queens, a Trinidadian mother's helper and an Atlantan investment banker. But in striving for extended range she sometimes undercuts the authenticity and immediacy of her stories. The most successful tales are those told from the point of view of characters from the Indian subcontinent, especially women. It is Mukherjee's keen eye for telling and sensuous detail that make these stories rewarding. Her limpid prose has a capacity to surprise with trenchant wit and delight with finely calibrated lyricism. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/25/1988
Release date: 05/01/1988
Mass Market Paperbound - 194 pages - 978-0-449-21718-4
Hardcover - 197 pages - 978-0-670-81893-8
Paperback - 208 pages - 978-0-8021-3650-3
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