White Dancing Elephants

White Dancing Elephants

by Chaya Bhuvaneswar


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Best Books of 2018 Kirkus Reviews (debut and short fiction categories)

Best Books of 2018, Entropy Magazine

A Book Club selection for The Wing, Rebel Women's Lit and Bookish.com

35 over 35 Debut Fiction Award

Finalist for the 2019 PEN American Robert Bingham Prize for Debut Short Story Collection

"Chaya Bhuvaneswar's debut collection maps with great assurance the intricate outer reaches of the human heart. What a bold, smart, exciting new voice, well worth listening to; what an elegant story collection to read and savor."
-Lauren Groff, author of Florida

"Stunning, evocative, electric...an exuberant collection."
-Kirkus Reviews (starred)

A woman grieves a miscarriage, haunted by the Buddha's birth. An artist with schizophrenia tries to survive hatred and indifference in small-town India by turning to the beauty of sculpture and dance. Orphans in India get pulled into a strange “rescue” mission aimed at stripping their mysterious powers. A brief but intense affair between two women culminates in regret and betrayal. A boy seeks memories of his sister in the legend of a woman who weds death. And fragments of history, from child brickmakers to slaves in Renaissance Portugal, are held up in brief fictions, burnished, made dazzling and unforgettable.

In seventeen remarkable stories, Chaya Bhuvaneswar spotlights diverse women of color—cunning, bold, and resolute—facing sexual harassment and racial violence, and occasionally inflicting that violence on each other. Winner of the 2017 Dzanc Short Story Collection Prize, White Dancing Elephants marks the emergence of a new and original voice in fiction and explores feminist, queer, religious, and immigrant stories with precision, drama, and compassion.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781945814617
Publisher: Dzanc Books
Publication date: 10/09/2018
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 1,170,276
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x (d)

About the Author

Chaya Bhuvaneswar is a physician and writer with work in Narrative Magazine, Tin House, Electric Lit, The Millions, Joyland, Michigan Quarterly Review and elsewhere. Her poetry and prose juxtapose Hindu epics, other myths and histories, and the survival of sexual harassment and racialized sexual violence by diverse women of color. She has received a MacDowell Colony fellowship, Sewanee Writers Conference scholarship and Henfield award for her writing. Follow her on Twitter at @chayab77 including for upcoming readings and events.

Table of Contents

White Dancing Elephants 9

The Story of the Woman Who Fell in Love with Death 19

Talinda 27

A Shaker Chair 53

Jagatishwaran 77

The Bang Bang 93

Orange Popsicles 105

Neela: Bhopal, 1984 123

Chronicle of a Marriage, Foretold 127

Heitor 141

Newberry 145

Asha in Allston 159

The Life You Save Isn't Your Own 163

The Orphan Handler 171

In Allegheny 175

The Goddess of Beauty Goes Bowling 187

Adristakama 197

Customer Reviews