In these days of authors following the trending genres to have a bestseller in the book shelves adorning the famous book stores, Ruchira Gupta’s “River of Flesh and Other Stories” is a fiction book containing 21 short stories in its vicinity of the pages that contains stories about sex workers and their implications with their lives. The stories are well written by various renowned authors such as Manto, Kamala Das, Premchand, Ismat Chugtai and others.
The book is edited by Ruchira Gupta who is an well known journalist and an anti sex trafficking activist. The short stories that adorn the pages of the book are well enough shook us into the reality of the state we are living in and the society that makes or pushes hard many innocent women into so called thing called prostitution . The author has kindled such a courage to the readers who well know the terms sex, trafficking, prostitution but still hesitant to pick up a book which contain stories about prostitution which is like taboo in our society and long spoken in private than in the public.
The book begins with the short story of Kamala Das “A Doll for The Prostitute Child” which deals with the story of a innocent small girl child whose innocence makes a man change his thoughts. The characterisation in various stories across the book keeps the short stories intact along the tracks and also keeps the readers busy keeping the books held up in their hands. The stories haunt us, sometimes struck us hard with the harsh and bitter realities of the situation that is prevailing in parts of our country.
The story of Manto’s “The Hundred Candle Power Bulb” and Nubemdu Ghosh’s “The Market Price” are my personal favourite stories that are really hard to imagine how this could be possible in societies and modern times like these. The editor has done his breakthrough job perfect by ordering the stories accordingly that it is hard to keep the book the down. I still wonder why she named the book title as “River of Flesh” and what made her choose that short story as the title.
Although the book is awakening and a must read, the harsh reality is that many readers would find it difficult to pick it for the theme of the stories lying within them. The plot summary given and title of the book will make readers somewhat hesitant to take it up in the first instance. But I think review like mine if clear the minds of the readers in choosing the book to read will be a happy one to think. The book is a neat collection of stories to be read.
Book Details :
Author: Ruchira Gupta (Editor)
Paperback: 272 Pages
Publisher: Speaking Tiger Publications
Genre: Ficiton / Anthology
Copy: Flipkart Review Programme
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