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    Swimming Lessons and Other Stories (Vintage International) (Paperback) By (author) Rohinton Mistry

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    DescriptionFirozsha Baag is an apartment building in Bombay. Its ceilings need plastering and some of the toilets leak appallingly, but its residents are far from desperate, though sometimes contentious and unforgiving. In these witty, poignant stories, Mistry charts the intersecting lives of Firozsha Baag, yielding a delightful collective portrait of a middle-class Indian community poised between the old ways and the new. "A fine collection...the volume is informed by a tone of gentle compassion for seemingly insignificant lives."--Michiko Kakutani, "New York Times"


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    a very satisfying read5

    Marianne Vincent Swimming Lessons and other stories from Firozsha Baag is the first book by Indian author of A Fine Balance and Booker Prize nominee, Rohinton Mistry. The book is a collection of eleven loosely connected stories that centre around the residents of an apartment block in Bombay called Firozsha Baag. Mistry deftly tells his tales from the points of view of an aging Parsi widow, an elderly Goan catholic ayah, a curmudgeonly lawyer, a teenage boy (or two), a recently widowed woman, a jovial veterinarian, a young couple expecting a baby, a woman losing her grip on sanity, a young man in his first romance and a recent immigrant in Canada. Firozsha Baag is a fertile ground for many tales and Mistry gives his readers tantalising glimpses of the residents' lives, which are a curious mixture of intimacy and fiercely-guarded privacy. Auspicious occasions are ruined in different ways; a cricket bat is repaired and destroyed in one afternoon; a servant becomes the object of taunting when she sees a ghost; a recent widow imagines a novel use for a cassette recorder; a schoolboy is led astray by a classmate; an emigrant finds his happiness depends on a particular bodily function; a teenager realises the inevitability of change; the threat of eviction brings out a vindictive streak; parents and children muse on cause and effect; a young man finds himself unable to overcome his family's resistance to change; and an immigrant tries to find his place in his new country. Mistry's characters have depth and appeal. His full-length novels are evidence of his literary prowess, but this book of short stories shows that he is a master of this form as well. A very satisfying read. by Marianne Vincent

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