Baker’s Dozen

  • Title – Baker’s Dozen – The Elle Tranquebar Book of short StoriesOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  • Author – Various Authors
  • Publisher – Tranquebar Press at Westland Publishers Ltd. India
  • Genre – Fiction
  • Pages – 192
  • ISBN – 978-82618-94-2
  • Price – 250 INR

Synopsis : Traditionally, bakers threw in the thirteenth loaf to make sure that their customers didn’t feel short-changed. Readers of Baker’s Dozen are likely to feel anything but that. The book is a collection of 13 stories that have the power to make you laugh out loud as in Madhulika Liddle’s St George and the Dragon, wipe away a silent tear, as in Payal Mukherjee’s Baani, have a shiver run down your spine, as in Sanjay Sipahimalani’s In Praise of Straight Lines, enjoy the subtle eroticism of Sheba Karim’s Next Year at the Taj and  Tishani Joshi’s The Delicate Predicament of Eunice De Silva and much more.

Review : The very first thing that struck in me an instant liking for the book, is the beautiful cover. I am well aware of the saying ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’ but this book is a proud exception to the rule. The cover graphics are an eye candy and the book is only an extension of the beautiful journey that began with the tastefully decorated cover.

The book derives its title from being a collection of thirteen stories (the relevance of the title explained in the synopsis above) that have proudly won the ELLE Fiction Awards (EFA). EFA in 2011 joined hands with Tranquebar/Westland Ltd. to bring together an anthology of the top three winning stories of the year 2011 and 2012 in the form of this book.

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As expected, this anthology, is nothing short of a triumph – of passion, ability and above all, the compelling medium of short story writing. The stories are masterpieces in their own stride that present a spectrum of emotions in powerful vocabulary.

I couldn’t stop from being in awe with the flawless flow of creativity in each story to the extent that picking a favorite is beyond impossible. Each story stands tall as a winner in its own stride, making this book a vibrant rainbow of literary gems.

The language is crisp and inspiring. Each story left me marvelling at the writer’s creative skills. The book makes for a delightful read that left me exhausted from playing several characters one after the other, still craving for more.

The stories derive inspiration from the happenings of our daily lives, yet magically focus on the intricate details we so often fail to note. The brevity of these stories leaves plenty of room for imagination, while the subtle build up of characters provides amalgamation of the written word with the reader’s imagination.

The book has 13 stories, 6 of them from new emerging voices. Together, they bring forth a rich and varied repast.

I highly recommend the book to everyone who enjoys short stories that leave plenty of food for thought. The Baker’s Dozen is a true feast for everyone who loves reading fiction.

Rating : 4.5/5

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