No Presents Please: Mumbai Stories

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5.5 X 8.2 X 0.9 inches | 0.65 pounds

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About the Author

Jayant Kaikini is a Kannada poet, short-story writer, columnist and playwright, as well as an award-winning lyricist, script and dialogue writer for Kannada films. He won his first Karnataka Sahitya Akademi award at the age of nineteen in 1974, and has since won the award three times, in addition to winning various other awards in India, including the first Kusumagraj Rashtriya Bhasha Sahitya Puraskar. No Presents Please, his volume of selected stories, is the first book in translation to have won the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature.


Praise for Jayant KaikiniWinner of the Atta Galatta-Bangalore Literature Lifetime Achievement Award for writing in Kannada

Praise for No Presents PleaseWinner of the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature
Joint winner of the Atta Galatta-Bangalore Literature Festival Book Prize

Tales of everyday life that open like windows onto universal truths . . . Highly recommend. --Bethanne Patrick, Literary Hub

Kaikini makes a strong case for his brand of offbeat surrealism, proving that stories need not be attractive, reassuring or conventional to land with impact. --Cade Johnson, ZYZZYVA

Refreshing . . . Kaikini's stories capture Mumbai as the scattered-omnipresent influence it holds on individuals living here. --Soni Wadhwa, Asian Review of Books

A transportive experience . . . A resonant glimpse of contemporary Mumbai through a series of powerful short stories. --Vol. 1 Brooklyn

Set against the backdrop of Mumbai's bustling cityscape, No Presents Please reveals the isolation, beauty and yearning inherent in modern Indian life . . . With an empathetic eye and evocative language trained on the ubiquitous qualities of the human experience, Kaikini guides readers to a sense of community and connection with his characters . . . It's well worth a read.--Debbie Morrison, BookBrowse

All of these stories, culled from Kaikini's work between 1986 and 2006, are set in Mumbai, but the breadth of their subject matter speaks both to the diversity of the metropolis and his reach as a writer . . . His style and themes will have a familiar ring for Western audiences; there are echoes of Jhumpa Lahiri and George Saunders. But his vision of a bustling city, his sense of its drama and magical moments, is his own. A welcome introduction of a commanding writer to a wider audience. --Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

In No Presents Please, Jayant Kaikini cracks open with tender care an extraordinary city, bursting with the ambitions of people who are anything but ordinary. In Kaikini's deft hands, Mumbai comes to life, exquisitely rendered, as much of a character as anyone else. --Neel Patel, author of If You See Me, Don't Say Hi

As Invisible Cities was Calvino's ode to Venice, Jayant Kaikini's No Presents Please is a love letter to Mumbai--its citizens, their struggles and triumphs. The language and cast of characters combine to offer readers a bouquet of rough diamonds and freshwater pearls. --Devi S. Laskar, author of The Atlas of Reds and Blues

Like a glimpse into a crowd in which each face suddenly becomes clear, No Presents Please brilliantly illuminates ordinary lives in the modern world. --Maxim Loskutoff, author of Come West and See

Jayant Kaikini's stories are like portals opening from the routines of our lives into the unusual and mysterious, where everything contains unseen possibilities. For the outsiders in these stories, even the act of dreaming feels rebellious. A wonderful, and wonderfully translated, collection of stories. --Akil Kumarasamy, author of Half Gods

This Mumbai is not a distantly observed city. Kaikini is right there, in the midst of it, rubbing shoulders with his people, intuiting their lives and emotions through skin-touch."--Shanta Gokhale, Mumbai Mirror

"Dense with details and gentle observations, these stories explore the lives of people we see without seeing, every single day. . . . Kaikini examines these small but brave lives with deep sympathy. He captures their voices with unerring humour; conjures up their world with exquisite precision; and recreates the strange blend of anonymity and intimacy that is so characteristic of this teeming megapolis by the sea."--Shabnam Minwalla, The Hindu

"The collection affirms Kaikini as one of the most influential writers today."--Nikhil Govind, The Times of India