Shanti by Vikram Chandra

Faber Stories, a landmark series of individual volumes, presents masters of the short story form at work in a range of genres and styles.

Who was she? Where was she going? Why did she return?

It is 1945, and twenty-year-old Shiv, grieving his identical twin brother, retreats to a small town in Uttar Pradesh. He is preparing to jump onto the train tracks when he is stopped by the sight of a woman.

Shanti’s husband is a fighter pilot missing in Burma. For the past three years she has travelled the country in search of him. In every military hospital she visits she hears a new story, and every time she passes through Leharia she tells one to Shiv.

Borrowing a structure from the Mahabharata, Vikram Chandra tells a spiralling story of loss, and of two wounded people becoming something new.

Bringing together past, present and future in our ninetieth year, Faber Stories is a celebratory compendium of collectable work. 

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I hate Sunday evenings.

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(@FaberBooks, 15 October 2019, ebook, 45 pages, bought from @AmazonKindle)

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This is a new author for me. I really enjoyed Shanti and may check out the author’s other work. The author uses a complex story-within-a-story structure to weave the tale of Shanti and Shiv. This is a beautifully written piece and I found myself falling in love with Shanti and Shiv and their story of being saved by love. This gave me the chills, in a good way.

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