Author – Samrat Upadhyay
Rating – 4/5 stars
Number of Pages – 253
Publisher – Rupa Publications
Mad Country is a collection of eight short stories by the award-winning author of Himalayan country Nepal, Samrat Upadhyay. The stories read like a dream like it was played in the writer’s unconscious mind and the next thing he did is write them down. The stories are ethereal beauty and characters are very familiar yet exclusive.
The cities, big and small and towns of Nepal are in the backdrop of the stories but there is nothing, in particular, to be said in respect to the country or its culture despite the names of the cities and streets he has taken in the stories. The protagonist of every story is a common citizen of Nepal, uncommon in his own way. They are not restrained to an age group. You will find a small boy in Beggar Boy, a son of a wealthy man pretends to be a beggar to understand why his mother abandoned him. A young girl in Freak Street, an American hippie, who undergoes a drastic identity change, adopts the country and its culture as its own.
The stories are not written to teach a moralistic lesson or to convey a message or anything like. They are just stories. They come from the common people and their lives. They do not necessarily end on a good note or a happy ending. Do not expect an ending or closing of the story. There are none. The stories continue after it ends and author let it to you to write the next course of the story as you like or end it with the author.
Walk the streets of Samrat Upadhyay’s Mad Country to hear the fascinating and delightful stories.
Samrat Upadhyay was born and raised in Nepal. He is the author of The City Son, which was shortlisted for a PEN Open Book Award; Arresting God in Kathmandu, winner of the Whiting Award; The Royal Ghost; The Guru of Love, a New York Times Notable Book and San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of the year; and Buddha’s Orphans. He has written for The New York Times and has appeared on BBC Radio and National Public Radio. Upadhyay teaches creative writing program at Indiana University.
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‘I received a copy from Publisher in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.’