Video by Meera Nair

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The ten exquisitely crafted stories in Video introduce a gifted new writer whose straight-forward, elegant prose and bewitching storytelling talent combine in brilliant miniatures of contemporary Indian life.

In the title story, an Indian man’s chance exposure to a Western-style porn film affects not only his marriage—his wife hides for hours, then days, then weeks at a time from his renewed desire—but also his neighborhood, as traditional notions of marriage, intimacy, and propriety confront the unspeakable, and the tacitly alluring. In “The Sculptor of Sands,” a superbly imagined mystical tale with the depth and resonance of legend, a slight young man’s sensuous sand sculptures transfix a seaside community and, despite their evanescence, leave an indelible impression on the women of the town. In “My Grandfather Dreams of Fences,” an aging landlord, convinced that his worker is stealing his land, desperately clings to the vestiges of a rigid class system, erecting fences with fervor while his dignity falls into disrepair. And in “The Lodger in Room 726,” a boy who daily brings breakfast to the new tenant in a rooming house unleashes a cascade of emotions previously unknown to him when he pursues his fantasy that the man is a well-known murderer on the lam.

An astonishing debut, written with a wry intelligence and an irresistible blend of humor, wit, and pathos, Video masterfully evokes traditional Indian culture as it confronts the onrush of change. In subtle gestures and keenly ob-served details, Meera Nair reveals an entire world of gleaming particularity and transcendent emotional power.

From the Hardcover edition.

About Meera Nair

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Meera Nair was born and raised in India and came to the United States in 1997 to study creative writing. She received an M.A. from Temple University and an M.F.A. from New York University, where she was a New York Times fellow. Her stories have been published in The Threepenny Review and Calyx. Nair lives in Brooklyn with her husband and baby daughter.
Published December 18, 2007 by Anchor. 208 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Video

Publishers Weekly

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A tinted review in adult Forecasts indicates a book that's of exceptional importance to our readers, but that hasn't received a starred or boxed review.

Jan 21 2002 | Read Full Review of Video: Stories

Publishers Weekly

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Violence is closer to the surface in "Summer," in which a young girl acting the part of a princess in a family play can no longer act her part after the boy-cousin who plays the prince sexually molests her.

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BC Books

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Without straying from his cultural codes, he presents himself to Ashima’s family to arrange a marriage so that he can move to New York and start a new career and family.

Nov 16 2007 | Read Full Review of Video: Stories

BC Books

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Gogol's deeply ironical and existentialist short story Overcoat becomes a peg on which Lahiri tries to hang 'the namesake', Gogol Ganguli's pretentious superfluous problems.

May 10 2007 | Read Full Review of Video: Stories

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