From the highly acclaimed author of Atlas of Unknowns ("Dazzling...One of the most exciting debut novels since Zadie Smith's White Teeth" --San Francisco Chronicle),a bravura collection of short stories set in locales as varied as London, Sierra Leone, and the American Midwest that captures the yearning and dislocation of young men and women around the world.
In "Light & Luminous," a gifted instructor of Indian dance falls victim to the vanity and insecurities that have followed her into middle age. In "Tonto and the Undertaker," a widower copes with his loss by cruising Kentucky highways and burying roadkill. In "The Scriptological Review" a damaged young man obsessively studies his father's handwriting in hopes of making sense of his suicide. And in "What to Do with Henry," a white woman from Ohio takes in the illegitimate child her husband left behind in Sierra Leone, as well as an orphaned chimpanzee who comes to anchor this strange new family. With Aerogrammes, Tania James once again introduces us to a host of delicate, complicated, and beautifully realized characters who find themselves separated from their friends, families, and communities by race, pride, and grief.
This eBook editional includes a Reading Group Guide.
About the Author
Tania James is the author of the novel Atlas of Unknowns. Her fiction has appeared in Boston Review, Granta, One Story, A Public Space, and The Kenyon Review. She lives in Washington, D.C.
Praise for Aerogrammes…
A San Francisco Chronicle and Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2012
“Tania James’ stories are funny, deeply tender, and each-and-every-one memorable. Aerogrammes is a gift of a collection from a talent who only grows.”
“By turns rib-shakingly funny and poignant, pinwheeling and wise, these stories are always devastatingly candid when it comes to their central preoccupations: exile and identity, the fault lines inside a family, grief and love… Proof that the short story is joyfully, promiscuously, thrillingly alive.”
“These are stories that map out a fresh new world between America and South Asia with a rare blend of humor and sensitivity. Surprising and affecting.”
“From an Indian wrestler in 1910 England to a marrying ghost who plots a return to flesh, James writes the kind of stories I’ve always loved, by turns absurd and hilarious but also deeply consequential. James has got range and a phenomenal heart. Not to be missed.”
“At every turn, James’ prose is crisp, observant and carefully controlled…James projects a deep emotional intelligence.”
“Although most of the characters in these nine immaculately crafted short stories share a common native land—Kerala in southern India—their range of emotions is brilliantly diverse…James understands the nuances of emotional displacement.”
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“A skilled storyteller…a refreshingly authentic new voice.”
“Fleeting ties and temporary alliances underscore James’ zestful exploration of the elusive connections inherent to most relationships…Lushly exploring themes of identity and recognition, singularity and community, James crafts taut, complete worlds populated by complex yet recognizable characters who ultimately achieve catharsis and obtain enlightenment, often through unplanned and unconventional methods.”
“First-rate…James’ prose is clean, deep, limpid; the stories she builds throw strange, beautiful light on completely unexpected places…real, fresh and worthy.”
—San Francisco Chronicle
“Agile…authentic and deftly drawn.”
“Like all great fiction, James’s stories emerge from a strange and beautiful source of inspiration, then proceed to transcend it…still and elegant.”
“Jam-packed and hectically lovely…flawless.”