I first “met” Damyanti Biswas through the A-to-Z blogging challenge. She had elected to write a short story every day (yes, this was before Story A Day May). Unlike my May stories, Damyanti’s daily stories were gems: the kind of “literary” that makes people say, “But I thought literary meant boring! These are great! They can’t be literary!”
The stories are no longer available, doggone it, but she has links to other stories she’s published. They just get better and better, which is incredible, considering how good those earlier ones were.
ANYWAY, she has a book out!
YOU BENEATH YOUR SKIN by Damyanti Biswas is being marketed by Simon and Schuster India as “A Gripping Urban Contemporary Crime Novel”.
And it is. But I didn’t think of it that way, when I was reading it. Yes, I have it. Yes, I paid cash money for it. In fact, I bought it in Kindle, and I just now also bought it in paper. Because!
Far more than being about a set of crimes, it’s also about a single mother raising an autistic son in her native India. You’ve read about books in which “the setting was one of the characters”? Well, the setting is one of the characters. So are misogyny, prostitution, and official corruption.
Nothing in this book is extraneous. Every detail, every word choice contributes to the heady brew of its totality. I was just a wee bit lost once or twice, because of the unfamiliar terms, some of them the same thing but in different languages. But the immense variety of languages and dialects in India, like the variety of … well … everything in India is another part of the whole. Turn a corner, and you’re in another world.
Highly recommended. Everything Damyanti Biswas writes, I highly recommend.
You can find her at her website: https://www.damyantiwrites.com/
There, you can read writing advice and sign up for her highly valuable newsletter. You can also link-hop to some of her stories (yay for us!).
And, by all means, buy her new book!!!!!
by Damyanti Biswas
Or, because maybe you haven’t read her work yet and don’t know if you’d like the book, she says:
All her profits from the sale of this book are going to charities: Project WHY (“an after-school support program that goes beyond academics to include life skills and all-round development”) and Chhanv Foundation, an organization that fights against and empowers survivors of acid attacks, which are almost exclusively on women.
I’m very pleased to report that Damyanti will visit me here on October 8! Be sure to drop by and visit with her. ~danse danse, danse danse~
A WRITING PROMPT FROM ME TO YOU: Go read some of the advice on Damyanti’s site. She rocks!