Harper Collins Publishers Inc
|Number of Pages
The Cripple and his Talismans is like the title suggests, about a cripple. A man in search of his lost arm. He wakes up one day and his arm is missing. Along the way on his so-called conquest to find his arm, he meets a variety of people a woman who sells rainbows to a coffin maker to a giant, to a homeless boy riding the trains, which all lead him to one person an underworld don at that, and the only one who can tell him about the clues along the way and explain the dilemma he is in.
All the action takes place in Bombay. The city, its smells, the places make for the crux of the tale. The journey of the man in search of his missing arm is often hilarious, sad, and at the same time human and absurd. Anosh mentioned about this book that it came to him in a dream, almost a vision, where he saw a basement, and arms hanging from the ceiling and he knew that he had to write this book and he did.
The Cripple and his Talismans is not an easy read. It demands a lot from the reader. The writing is simple and yet the situations arent. The characters jump off from every page and take the reader unaware. The writing radiates, teeming with the citys boisterousness and energy and its laziness sometimes on a Sunday afternoon. To read something like The Cripple and his Talismans and not get affected by it, by its sheer magnitude, insanity, and almost a shock-like quality is not a possible feat.
Prepare to enter a world where the norms of human behaviour and morality even the rules governing time and gravity are turned upside down. Set in the teeming city of contemporary Bombay, this comic and vibrant tale begins with a young man in search of his missing arm. Each person he meets offers him a clue: a woman who sells rainbows; a coffin maker who builds tiny caskets; a giant who lives under water all lead him to Baba Rakhu, the master of the underworld and the only one who can reveal the meaning of his predicament. With humour and ingenuity, Anosh Irani has crafted a bold story that is as much about loss as it is about the presence of faith in a world that can be as cruel as it can be forgiving.
About the Author
Anosh Irani was born and brought up in Bombay and moved to Vancouver in 1998. He is the author of Dahanu Road, which was longlisted for the 2010 Man Asian Literary Prize. The Song of Kahunsha, which was a finalist for CBC Radio's Canada Reads and the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, was published in thirteen countries, and was a bestseller in Canada, China and Italy. His play Bombay Black won six Dora Mavor Moore awards, including for Outstanding New Play. Irani was nominated for the Governor Generals Award for Drama for his anthology The Bombay Plays: The Matka King & Bombay Black.