Aerogrammes by Tania James

79%

14 Critic Reviews

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.
-Publishers Weekly

Synopsis

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 Tania James

See more books from this 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.
 
Published May 15, 2012 by Vintage. 192 pages
Genres: Other, History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Aerogrammes
All: 14 | Positive: 11 | Negative: 3

Kirkus

Excellent
Mar 01 2012

At every turn, James’ prose is crisp, observant and carefully controlled; unlike the narrator of “Escape Key,” who grows increasingly aware of his fiction’s shortcomings, James projects a deep emotional intelligence.

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NY Times

Below average
Reviewed by Emily Cooke on May 25 2012

When “Aerogrammes” stumbles it seems mainly a fault of the lyricism, as if the temptation of grand language has lured these otherwise complex and genuinely felt stories a step toward schmaltz.

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Publishers Weekly

Excellent
Feb 06 2012

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.

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The Washington Post

Excellent
Reviewed by Lisa Bonos on Jun 08 2012

...the constant is James’s ability to render strong characters and tender relationships. Some are real and some are clearly imagined, but they all come to feel authentic and deftly drawn.

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San Francisco Chronicle

Excellent
Reviewed by Joan Frank on May 13 2012

James' prose is clean, deep, limpid; the stories she builds throw strange, beautiful light on completely unexpected places.

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The Rumpus

Excellent
Reviewed by David Westcott on May 15 2012

James is at her best when chronicling adolescent awkwardness—something she does with unremitting honesty.

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BookDragon

Excellent
Reviewed by Terry Hong on Jun 25 2012

James manages to sustain an unwavering level of resonating quality throughout each of the nine stories in Aerogrammes: each story is a world unto itself, standing fully formed with little lacking.

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Fiction Writers Review

Excellent
Reviewed by J.T. Bushnell on May 30 2012

I’ve gotten in the habit, when reading collections, of previewing the first few lines of the coming story (just a taste!), and Tanya James’s first few lines were enough to make a glutton of me.

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Time Out Bangalore

Below average
Reviewed by Trisha Gupta on Sep 28 2012

... her attempts at lyrical poignancy are often overwritten...The possibility of an emotional response is buried under the weight of this sentimental excess.

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Live Journal

Excellent
Jul 20 2012

The characters and situations are all drastically different, but James's language is consistently beautiful and startling in its insight.

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Of Books and Reading

Good
Sep 16 2012

James knows how to catch the pulse of the reader and she does it in an amazing way right from the first story to the last one.

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DBC Reads

Good
Reviewed by Marnie Shure on May 15 2012

...jam-packed and hectically lovely short story collection....flawless in their execution...

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Getting Oriented, The Novel

Good
Reviewed by Wally Wood on Sep 28 2012

Even when the premise is fantastic (in the last story, a girl marries a ghost) the situation is comprehensible.

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Stephanie Vandrick Reads

Below average
Reviewed by Stephanie Vandrick on May 25 2012

The settings of the stories are widely scattered, but more than that, the styles, the tones, the emotional temperatures, the characters are so very diverse that I didn’t feel much unity in the collection.

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Reader Rating for Aerogrammes
77%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 7 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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