What You Call Winter: Stories

Nalini Jones, Author . Knopf $22.95 (251p) ISBN 978-1-4000-4276-0

I n her auspicious debut, Jones reveals the hopes and disappointments of young children, mothers and old men living in Santa Clara, a mostly Catholic suburb of Mumbai, India. It covers all the ground between six-year-old Jude Almeida, who in the story “The Crow and the Monkey”witnesses his godmother's wild antics at the New Year party, and 77-year old Roddy D'Souza, who in the title story is haunted by visions of his dead father. The opening story, “In the Garden,” is a gem: at home alone on the verge of her 10th birthday, Marian Almeida discovers and tries on the dress that is intended to be her gift. Simply plotted, the story evokes the weight of expectations of a girl about to enter adolescence. Similar themes are fleshed out in “This Is Your Home Also” and the devastating “We Think of You Every Day,” both of which also explore childhood vulnerabilities. Adulthood, however, offers a wider perspective; in “The Bold and the Beautiful” and “Home for a Short Time,” characters reconcile themselves with their decisions—one leaves her mother behind for a new life in the United States, while another stays in India. Jones displays impressive scope and depth of sympathy in her first collection. (Aug.)

Reviewed on: 05/07/2007
Release date: 08/01/2007
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 159 pages - 978-0-307-54919-8
Paperback - 251 pages - 978-1-4000-7795-3
MP3 CD - 978-1-5366-6521-5
MP3 CD - 978-1-5113-4096-0
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