Diamond Dust: Stories

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A collection of stories stretching from India to New England to Mexico from the author of Fasting, Feasting—an “undeniable genius” (TheWashington Post Book World).

The men and women in these nine tales set out on journeys that suddenly go beyond the pale—or surprisingly lead them back to where they started. In the mischievous title story, a beloved dog brings nothing but disaster to his obsessed master; in other tales, old friendships and family ties stir up buried feelings, demanding either renewed commitment or escape. And in the final exquisite story, a young woman discovers a new kind of freedom in Delhi’s rooftop community.
 
This is a richly diverse, “quiet but deeply satisfying” collection of stories, from a three-time Man Booker Prize finalist (Kirkus Reviews).
 
“Anita Desai is one of the most brilliant and subtle writers ever to have described the meeting of eastern and western culture . . . Both serious and wonderfully entertaining.” —Alison Lurie, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Foreign Affairs
 
“Served up with characteristic perspicuity, subtle humor and attention to the little hypocrisies of the middle class.” —Publishers Weekly
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About the author

Anita Desai is the author of Fasting, Feasting, Baumgartner’sBombay, Clear Light of Day, and Diamond Dust, among other works. Three of her books have been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. Desai was born and educated in India and now lives in the New York City area.
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4.0
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Additional Information

Publisher
HMH
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Published on
May 19, 2000
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Pages
224
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ISBN
9780547561547
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Cultural Heritage
Fiction / Literary
Fiction / Short Stories (single author)
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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A young American in Mexico discovers his family’s past—and a present-day danger—in this “elegant, exquisite” novel of suspense (Elle).
 
Eric is a newly minted historian just out of graduate school, plagued by self-doubt over both his past choices and his future options. With no clear direction, he follows his lover, Em, when she travels to the Yucatan for her scientific research, but ends up alone in this foreign place. And so he pursues his own private quest, tracing his family’s history to a Mexican ghost town, where, a hundred years earlier, young Cornish miners—among them Eric’s grandparents—toiled to the death.
 
Now, in place of the Cornish workers, the native Huichol Indians suffer the cruelty of the mines. When he inquires into their lives, Eric provokes the ire of their self-appointed savior, Dona Vera. Known as the “Queen of the Sierra,” Dona Vera is the widow of a mining baron who has dedicated her fortune to preserving the Huichol culture. But her formidable presence belies a dubious past.
 
The zigzag paths of these characters converge on the Day of the Dead, bringing together past and present in a moment of powerful epiphany. Haunting and atmospheric, with splashes of exuberant color and darker violence, The Zigzag Way is “a beautifully rendered combination of history, folklore, and modern fiction” (Entertainment Weekly), from a Booker Prize finalist.
 
“Long before Jhumpa Lahiri . . . long before Monica Ali . . . another novelist was offering us exquisitely detailed portraits of bodies in transit [and] classes in the art of sly and sensuous fiction . . . Anita Desai was a global, migrant writer before such a thing was fashionable.” —Time
 
“Almost unbearably suspenseful.” —The Boston Globe
 
“A hypnotic journey.” —San Jose Mercury News
The #1 International Bestseller & New York Times Bestseller

This beautiful, illuminating tale of hope and courage is based on interviews that were conducted with Holocaust survivor and Auschwitz-Birkenau tattooist Ludwig (Lale) Sokolov—an unforgettable love story in the midst of atrocity.

“The Tattooist of Auschwitz is an extraordinary document, a story about the extremes of human behavior existing side by side: calculated brutality alongside impulsive and selfless acts of love. I find it hard to imagine anyone who would not be drawn in, confronted and moved. I would recommend it unreservedly to anyone, whether they’d read a hundred Holocaust stories or none.”—Graeme Simsion, internationally-bestselling author of The Rosie Project

In April 1942, Lale Sokolov, a Slovakian Jew, is forcibly transported to the concentration camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau. When his captors discover that he speaks several languages, he is put to work as a Tätowierer (the German word for tattooist), tasked with permanently marking his fellow prisoners.

Imprisoned for over two and a half years, Lale witnesses horrific atrocities and barbarism—but also incredible acts of bravery and compassion. Risking his own life, he uses his privileged position to exchange jewels and money from murdered Jews for food to keep his fellow prisoners alive.

One day in July 1942, Lale, prisoner 32407, comforts a trembling young woman waiting in line to have the number 34902 tattooed onto her arm. Her name is Gita, and in that first encounter, Lale vows to somehow survive the camp and marry her.

A vivid, harrowing, and ultimately hopeful re-creation of Lale Sokolov's experiences as the man who tattooed the arms of thousands of prisoners with what would become one of the most potent symbols of the Holocaust, The Tattooist of Auschwitz is also a testament to the endurance of love and humanity under the darkest possible conditions.

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