Swimming Lessons and Other Stories from Firozsha Baag

Swimming Lessons and Other Stories from Firozsha Baag

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by Rohinton Mistry
     
 

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Firozsha Baag is an apartment building in Bombay. Its ceilings need plastering and some of the toilets leak appallingly, but its residents are far from desperate, though sometimes contentious and unforgiving. In these witty, poignant stories, Mistry charts the intersecting lives of Firozsha Baag, yielding a delightful collective portrait of a middle-class Indian

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Overview

Firozsha Baag is an apartment building in Bombay. Its ceilings need plastering and some of the toilets leak appallingly, but its residents are far from desperate, though sometimes contentious and unforgiving. In these witty, poignant stories, Mistry charts the intersecting lives of Firozsha Baag, yielding a delightful collective portrait of a middle-class Indian community poised between the old ways and the new.

"A fine collection...the volume is informed by a tone of gentle compassion for seemingly insignificant lives."—Michiko Kakutani, New York Times

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A native of Bombay who has lived in Canada since 1975, Mistry published this collection in England and Canada in 1987. His reputation in those countries, and in India, has led to comparisons to Salman Rushdie, Vikram Seth and others. The world of Mistry's stories is a Bombay apartment complex. Various inhabitants are examined in interlocking narratives that evoke brilliantly the textures of this exotic yet startlingly knowable setting. In ``Condolence Visit'' a widow who refuses to behave according to her neighbors' expectations gives away her husband's pugree (a ceremonial headpiece). In ``Paying Guests,'' bizarre tenants cannot be budged by a hapless couple who never should have allowed the arrangement. The narrator of the title story interweaves an account of learning to swim with imagined scenes of his parents reading a packet of his stories and responding with concern and delight over literal details. ``You are confusing fiction with facts,'' points out the father to his wife. ``You must not confuse cause and effect.'' These 11 short narratives form an elegant mosaic that should confirm Mistry as a rising star in the literary firmament. (Feb.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780679776321
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
02/28/1997
Series:
Vintage International Series
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
332,845
Product dimensions:
5.18(w) x 8.03(h) x 0.53(d)

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