“[An] abiding sense of hurt and separateness from the Indian state permeates The House with a Thousand Stories... [Kashyap's] tactile prose, beautifully flawed characters …brings to life and empathy a little-known corner of the region.”
“Aruni captures the historical silence that has, over the years, eluded many writers.”
“Kashyap breaks a basic rule of plotting a book: giving away what happens next. It is a mark of his confidence as a writer; he knows his storytelling will keep the reader hooked.”
—The Asian Age
“Beautiful and devastatingly torn… Kashyap leaves us with something sparkling in this wreckage–a quality common to all great tragedies. A novel to savor.”
—Mint : The Wall Street Journal
“Most impressive in its adept juggling of the personal with the political.”
—The Sunday Guardian
“A tale where the haunting past coexists with the violent present. Aruni Kashyap’s debut novel, set in Assam, sees the author at the height of his powers with a sensitive yet strong narrative…. Kashyap is below thirty. Amazing talent from one so young!”
—The Deccan Herald
It is 2002 and young Pablo, a city boy who has mostly lived a sheltered and privileged life in Guwahati, is visiting his ancestral village for his aunt’s wedding. This is his second time in Mayong, in rural Assam, since 1998, when he had come for a few days to attend his father’s best friend’s funeral. As the wedding preparations gather pace, Pablo is amused as well as disturbed by squabbling aunts, dying grandmothers, cousins planning to elope for love, and hysterical gossips. And on this heady theatre of tradition and modernity hovers the sinister shadow of insurgency and the army’s brutal measures to quell militancy.
In the days leading up to the wedding, which ends in an unspeakable tragedy, Pablo finds first love, discovers family intrigues, and goes through an extraordinary rite of passage. Written with clinical precision, this gripping first novel announces the arrival of one of the most original new voices from India. The novel is an exploration of fear, about what it means to live under state-terrorism and violence of armed rebellion, and about the far-reaching consequences of living under the threat of terror in world’s largest democracy.