Snake Catcher by Naiyer Masud

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Snake Catcher is the second collection of the acclaimed master story teller Naiyer Masud's work to appear in English. Four stories from his first collection, Seemiya (an Arabic word which can mean a number of things, among them "metamorphosis" or "the art of creating illusions"), appear here, along with seven more.

Readers of world literature may find something of Kafka's influence in these stories-or Borges, or Garcia Marquez, or Murakami. But it's surely best to speak of these fictions as pure Masud, as no other has rendered a fictional world like this one. Imagine that a single arch is all that remains of a once grand and storied building, and say that a story might be like that arch: spare, precise, singular, open, a portal affording a glimpse of an elaborate past and an uncertain future, of this world and a dream world beyond. Wasn't there-once-a house? A city of arches and passageways and verandas? A lover peering in the window? Whatever else remains indeterminate in these eleven stark stories, it is certain that at the center of each stands a solitary "I," one among family and neighbors, one from whose consciousness the story emerges. Pulled along by this always compelling voice, we inhabit in these stories a world in which illusions are stark as day, and the threads by which we take hold of life are only kindness, and mystery, and want.


About Naiyer Masud

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Masud is a retired professor Persian at Lucknow University in India.
Published December 20, 2005 by Interlink Pub Group Inc. 320 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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The great Czech writer’s influence is felt throughout, especially in the rigorously compressed tale (“Resting Place”) of a nameless wanderer invited to become one of a welcoming household’s “priceless objects,” and the superb “Custody,” about a village shop whose successive proprietors succumb to...

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