RaveWords Without BordersA compelling introduction to one of the leading authors in the Gujarati language ... A large part of Dhumketu’s skill is his ability to have political circumstances propel the narrative forward, allowing commentary on ethics, justice, and morality while seldom naming these concepts ... Nuanced yet cutting ... Dhumketu’s focus on universal human traits through the lens of romantic attachments, the societal oppression of individuals, and the beauty of the natural world makes these stories, first published from 1926 to 1964, relevant to readers in twenty-first-century America ... So much of Dhumketu’s work, displays a striking ability to understand a woman’s experience of the world ... Jenny Bhatt’s skillful translation takes advantage of the unique place that English occupies on the subcontinent ... Dhumketu’s stories are full of small, transportative jewels ... To read Dhumketu is to be reminded of the ways in which the short story can be stretched and shaped organically, while always remaining true to its exquisite form.
RaveAlta... a new, complex, and altogether deeper understanding, not only of the writer but also of the ways in which art and beauty fortify us in the fight for justice and the defense of truth ... this new book reflects her ability to make connections across a wide expanse. It’s a privilege to read her on the Spanish Civil War, Stalin’s Russia, postrevolutionary Mexico, the coal mines of the United Kingdom, and a rose-producing factory in Colombia. Equally fascinating are surveys of the ways truth is manipulated under totalitarianism, the geological period known as the Carboniferous, the natural history of flowers ... an erudite, lyrical, and incisive book, yet one never feels spoken down to or judged. Despite Solnit’s obvious political stance, there is no finger of reprimand wagging in our faces. Instead, what is generously revealed is the ways in which we are all complicit in the structure of society, the trade-offs that we make.