Up in the Main House & Other Stories

Nadeem Zaman. Unnamed, $17 trade paper (176p) ISBN 978-1-944700-98-0
In Bangladeshi American Zaman’s collection, his U.S. debut, the stark class lines drawn between those in the main house and those living outside of it in Dhaka, Bangladesh, are blurred as he navigates the lives of the latter with empathy, precision, and grace. In the title story, Kabir is torn between his love for his wife, Anwara, and his worry that she’s having too much fun playing mistress while the real master and mistress are away. Some stories’ characters orbit or serve the same main family, the Qureshis, as in “The Father and the Judge,” in which a father who’s worried about his daughter’s abusive husband travels to a city where one Qureshi is a judge to ask him for the authority and protection of his name. In one of the best stories, “The Holdup,” a wave of crime has gripped the Gulshan district; the intimate nature of the robberies means that it’s the servants that fall under suspicion. For Noor the cook, this suspicion results in a double victimization when he gets into an accident that “conveniently,” per the police, knocks him out as a robbery occurs. Modern-day Dhaka and its residents are generously represented in this powerful collection. Meticulously constructed in both language and emotion, Zaman’s stories sneak up on the reader and consistently deliver. (Nov.)
Reviewed on : 09/04/2019
Release date: 11/05/2019
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-951213-02-2
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