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A House Is a Body

Stories

By Shruti Swamy

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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Meet the Author
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Shruti Swamy

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Review quotes
"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

"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

“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
Product Details
Categories
Number of pages
208
Publication date
August 11, 2020
ISBN
9781616209896