Annam Manthiram has a new collection of short stories called Dysfunction published by Aqueous Press.
I think often about the things that factor into putting a collection together – does a collection work best if the stories are coherent in terms of style or of setting, should they have a common thread, should they be linked or follow specific characters?
Judging from the blurb, and the comments from other writers, Dysfunction, as a collection is true to its name. The stories are ‘dramatically different in style and form’, they take you to ‘disparate worlds’ and ‘map the territory of the unloved’. They range from the wicked (a divorcée recounts her failed marriages sardonically from A to Z), to heart-wrenchingly commonplace (an older Indian woman struggles to find a husband during humiliating bride-viewings), and emotionally barren (a mother cannot understand why her family doesn’t love her enough to remember her son’s first birthday). At times funny, concludes the blurb, but always incisive, this collection of stories examines the survival of those whose only certainty is dysfunction.
Annam's story, the sad and disturbing The Reincarnation of Chamunda appeared in the Mythology issue of Out of Print in June, 2011 is in the collection.
We are ordering our copy of Dysfuntion now.