I’ve been a fan and follower of Susmita’s work since reading A Normal State of Mind many years ago. There’s something in the way that her writing pulls together different worlds and different minds so fluidly and effortlessly. Table Manners very quickly became one of my new favourite short story collections. As a short story writer myself, it is a lesson in how to paint intimate snapshots of lives tucked away all around us. In each of them there is a moment – whether of resilience, of love, of beauty, of pain, or of loss. Where others may follow traditional beginning to end short story structures, Susmita focuses on the heart of the story and the ordinary everyday happenings and feelings that make us so human, that we overlook or take for granted. The characters come to life and stay with you long after. The lengths of the stories vary, and are never too long or too short, but just right for each story. My favourite one by far was ‘Comfort Food’ in which a young wife’s silent resilience gave me goosebumps. My least favourite was perhaps ‘Letters Home’ in which an immigrant experience’s was all too unsurprising. Table Manners is a collection worth reading and keeping close by for re-reading.

Posted by:Durre

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