Among The Hunters by Shrilal Shukla, translated by Daisy Rockwell
Reviewed by Rebecca Llyod
On one level this story is romantically told, a forest is the setting and it is so beautifully described that the reader can visualise it very clearly from the magnificence of the gigantic trees to the way moonlight falls into and through them… even a sense of the silence of the forest is there somehow, in what is not written. The author writes: ‘It felt to us as though we were entering some land from which we’d been separated, along with our infancy, and our dreams, long before coming into this world of bitterness and reality.’ The story itself and the outcome shatters the peaceful images of forest life and the animals within it and reveals a great deal about the nature of people. Even when the hunters first enter the forest, the juxtaposition between their ugliness of manner and intent and the forest’s beauty is stark. The drama that is later enacted in the dense forest is fulsomely described by the author and the terrible culture rift between the characters dramatically revealed.
Reviewer Rebecca Lloyd's 'Finger Buffet' appeared in Out of Print December 2010.