Nepal: Short Stories from Kathmandu

I wondered how many books I would be able to find from Nepal. Did not have to wonder long. I found one. Luckily, I found it as an ebook, unluckily it is a collection of short stories. I am not a big fan of short stories. I am not saying that there are no good ones, of course there are many good ones. It is just that I am all about novels. Anyway, I ended up reading the short stories in Arresting God in Kathmandu by Samrat Upadhyay.

There are nine quite different short stories in the book, all set in Kathmandu. They are everyday stories about general topics like love, family and work. Only one of the stories is set around the old fashion values still typical in Nepal; arranged marriage and male female relations. Other stories focus on things that can happen anywhere in the world or all over the world, and how people cope with obstacles in their lives.

There is a surprise pregnancy and a desperate way to get married. There is loss of employment and drifting away from the wife into the arms of a servant. The changes in society that comes with globalization have a strong voice in these stories. These changes can be hard on some, because spirituality and old traditions still exist, and generation gaps can be wide as the ocean.

I am impressed that an author from Nepal gets shorts stories published in English, and it is always good to get new literature from all over the world on the market. The stories were good, but not extraordinary. There were no stories that grabbed and held my attention. It takes skill to write about boring, everyday life. That, or then the characters have to be extremely good or relatable. These stories simply did not make an impact in one way or another.

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