by Reginald Massey
This fascinating collection of stories, anecdotes, observations and reminiscences presents, very largely, a picture of the Indian subcontinent since 1947, the year of azaadi, independence. There have been wars and massacres and massive political, social and economic changes; corruption has been rampant and vast injustices have been perpetrated on the poor. This book, however, celebrates that spark of sheer goodness and simple decency which still resides in the soul of even' single human being. There is, in short, much hope for the future,
Fact and fiction are variable, interchangeable ingredients in the craft of storytelling. The storyteller's first loyalty must, of course, always be to his calling and, in the end, the fact-Fiction ratio is of little or no consequence. What matters is whether the tale has been well told. Hopefully, readers will feel that the stories in this collection fall into that category,
Oscar Wilde asserted that there is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written and that is all there is to it. Massey disagrees most profoundly; a book without a moral dimension is not worth writing, either well or badly. Moreover, the artist aims for a peculiar poetic truth that far transcends mere facts and fanciful fictions. A readable story will not be found in a bank statement or the embroidered account of a love affair.
The writer inhabits, indeed flourishes, in an area of ambiguity. It is there in the dangerous quicksands that he discovers the workings of the mind and the heart. These stories, set in a time frame of great historical importance, speak of men and women caught up in the cataclysm.
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About the Author
His books on Indian music and dance are standard works. He has written for leading international publications and authoritative reference books contain his rigorously researched entries. Institutions such as New York's Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts use his material.
The stories in this collection have been written over a period of several years.
Born in Lahore, at that time in British India, Reginald Massey now lives in Wales though he visits