A House Is a Body
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A House Is a Body : Stories

3.62 (676 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

INTRODUCING A DAZZLING NEW LITERARY VOICE In two-time O. Henry-prize winner Swamy's debut collection of stories, dreams collide with reality, modernity collides with antiquity, myth with true identity, and women grapple with desire, with ego, with motherhood and mortality. In "Earthly Pleasures," Radika, a young painter living alone in San Francisco, begins a secret romance with one of India's biggest celebrities. In "A Simple Composition," a husband's moment of crisis leads to his wife's discovery of a dark, ecstatic joy and the sense of a new beginning. In the title story, an exhausted mother watches, distracted and paralyzed, as a California wildfire approaches her home. With a knife blade's edge and precision, the stories of A House Is a Body travel from India to America and back again to reveal the small moments of beauty, pain, and power that contain the world.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 208 pages
  • 140 x 210 x 25.4mm | 294.84g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 1616209895
  • 9781616209896
  • 948,927

Review quote

"Shruti Swamy's A House Is A Body will not simply be talked about as one of the greatest short story collections of the 2020s; it will change the way the all stories--short and long--are told, written and consumed. There is nothing, no emotion, nor tiny morsel of memory, no touch, that this book does not take seriously. Yet, A House Is A Body might be the most fun I've ever had in a short story collection."
--Kiese Laymon, author of Heavy "Swamy's debut short story collection is rich, mesmeric, and often mournful, blurring the boundaries between dreams and reality, and making time less linear and more pliable . . . These are nuanced and quietly powerful stories about our most urgent and deeply felt experiences -- grief, love, and desire."
--BuzzFeed, "29 Summer Books You Won't Be Able To Put Down"

"Swamy's pulsating prose produces riveting narratives. Her stories twist in subtle yet unexpected ways . . . The fallible characters in Swamy's ravishing book are always falling into something and bravely grasping what they can on their way down in a frenetic attempt to pull themselves back up. A dazzling and exquisitely crafted collection."
--Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"Swamy writes with a cool precision that draws the reader into her debut collection . . the plots unspool in lovely lucid prose that has a poetic omniscience . . . Swamy is off to a strong start."
--Publishers Weekly

"This is one of the books I'll turn to again and again, to study the tapestry of the prose, which is so beautiful and original. And there is such a deep curiosity at work here. I couldn't stop reading once I'd begun, couldn't part with this clear, exquisite, intelligent mind, contemplating an endlessly troubled and intimate world. It made me love reading all over again."
--Rebecca Lee, author of Bobcat and Other Stories

"I've been reading Shruti Swamy's stories for a long time and so for me to have them here together is cause for great celebration. These stories are written with such rare patience and a restraint that they are at times, almost unbearably tense. That's a story writer. Not a book to read in a hurry. Take your time, as Swamy did. No need for hyperbole, either. The beauty and timeless grace of these stories will always speak for themselves."
--Peter Orner, author of Maggie Brown & Others: Stories

"Shruti Swamy writes with a confidence and rich understanding that recalls such renowned storytellers as Katherine Anne Porter and Ruth Prawer Jhabvala. Her collection A House is a Body is the perfect book for lovers of the short story and for all those willing to lose themselves in Swamy's thoroughly developed fictional worlds. Shruti Swamy is a rare talent and A House is a Body is a gorgeous debut."
--Laura Furman, author of The Mother Who Stayed and former series editor of The O'Henry Prize Stories

"Powered by intense imagery and jolts of frank sexuality, Shruti Swamy's A House Is a Body blurs the line between fantastical and naturalistic storytelling with its tales of love, loss, and life lived across cultures . . . mesmerizing."
--Foreword Reviews, starred review
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About Shruti Swamy

The winner of two O. Henry Awards, Shruti Swamy's work has appeared in The Paris Review, McSweeney's, Prairie Schooner, and elsewhere. In 2012, she was Vassar College's 50th W.K. Rose Fellow, and has been awarded residencies at the Millay Colony for the Arts, Blue Mountain Center, and Hedgebrook. She is a Kundiman fiction fellow, a 2017 - 2018 Steinbeck Fellow at San Jose State University, and a recipient of a 2018 grant from the Elizabeth George Foundation. She lives in San Francisco.
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Rating details

676 ratings
3.62 out of 5 stars
5 23% (154)
4 31% (208)
3 34% (232)
2 10% (70)
1 2% (12)
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