These stories by Appadurai Muttulingam are serious, funny and piercingly honest. Through retelling the stories of the ordinary, common man in his daily struggles for survival, the characters in these stories force us to take a second look at ourselves; they force us to consider ourselves in the shoes of folks who face social, economic and political hardships in their lives.
Appadurai Muttulingam’s writing style reminds one of R.K. Narayan. He uses terse, sinewy sentences and doesn’t bother the reader with gratuitous language or details. His mission is to narrate a story, and he does it in a take-it-or-leave-it manner of folk tales, in which logic and superfluous information are sacrificed for the sake of a delightful read and a universal message.
MOHAMMED NASEEHU ALI
Author of The Prophet of Zongo Street
Tales of Lankan Tamil diaspora narrated with poignancy and hilarity.
SREEVALSAN T., Outlook
Appadurai Muttulingam’s hilarious and at times thought-provoking tales about the lives of refugees living in nations across the globe make for interesting reading. Sparkling humour, unforgettable memories, gripping experiences, vivid descriptions, witty repartee and unexpected twists are just a few ingredients of this collection of refugee and fantasy-based futuristic tales . . . The book deserves a four star rating.
N. JAGADESHWARI, The Book Review
The stories in this collection are seemingly simple and just when you think you’ve figured them out, they spring a surprise on you.
KRUPA GE, Firstpost
Muttulingam’s stories have no purple prose; the language is simple, sentences terse and the characters are sharply defined. The reading experience is therefore straightforward and mess free . . . The translation is excellent and taut.
The author’s voice is that of a true storyteller in the classic sense: insightful, tragic and yet funny – and quite hilarious at times.
ANIRUDDHAN VASUDEVAN, Writer and translator
APPADURAI MUTTULINGAM was born in Kokuvil, Sri Lanka. A chartered accountant by profession, his literary career started at the age of nineteen when he won the first prize in the All Ceylon Tamil Short Story Competition conducted by Thinakaran, a national newspaper. He has published eleven short story collections, six essay collections, two interview collections, two novels and edited an anthology of book reviews. He has won the Tamil Nadu Government (India) Award for Vamsa Viruthi, Sri Lanka Government Literary Award for Vadakku Veethi, Ananda Vikatan India Award 2012 and S.R.M. University (India) Literary Award 2013. He also won the Markham City Council, Canada Literary Award 2014. A selection of short stories translated into English under the title Inauspicious Times was published in 2008. His short story ‘The American Girl’ was included in the book Many Roads through Paradise, an anthology published by Penguin Books in 2014. The same story was included in Uprooting the Pumpkin, an anthology published by Oxford University Press in 2016. He lives with his wife Ranjini in Markham, Canada.
PADMA NARAYANAN is a Chennai-based writer and translator. Her translations of short stories have been included in an anthology brought out by the British Council. Her other translations include two novellas by the Tamil writer La Sa Ra (Katha), Ashes and Wisdom by Indira Parthasarathy (Indian Writing) and Inauspicious Times by Appadurai Muttulingam.