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Fiction Cultural Heritage

Hands Like Trees

by (author) Sabyasachi Nag

Ronsdale Press
Initial publish date
Apr 2023
Cultural Heritage
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2023
    List Price

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An act of passion reverberates across continents when Visma Sen, a retired army officer, decides to remain in Calcutta when his family migrates to Canada.

Sabyasachi Nag evokes the rising heat of Calcutta in the early morning as masterfully as he depicts the calmness of a snow-lit evening street in Brampton, Ontario while the entangled lives of the Sens of Shulut unfurl over three decades. Each linked story is told through the voice of a different member of the Sen family, from Nilroy's movingly excruciating first day as caregiver to Aunt Rita with dementia to Milli's ambition to host her guru Mata G. The experiences of each character draw a portrait of the Sen family, whose wounds drive them to pursue an ever-elusive happiness, while clearly yearning for identity and belonging.

About the author

Sabyasachi Nag (Sachi) is the author of two previous collections of poetry: Bloodlines (Writers Workshop, 2006) and Could You Please, Please Stop Singing (Mosaic Press, 2015). His work has appeared, or is forthcoming in several anthologies and publications including Canadian Literature, Contemporary Verse 2, Grain, The Antigonish Review, The Dalhousie Review, The Maynard and Vallum among others. He is an alum of the Writer's Studio at Simon Fraser University and the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley. He holds a graduate certificate in Creative Writing from the Humber School for Writers. He lives in Mississauga with his wife and son.

Sabyasachi Nag's profile page

Editorial Reviews

Sabyasachi Nag's story cycle, Hands Like Trees, is Arundhati Roy as if written in the mode of Alice Munro. Nag is a masterful writer, presenting the oddities of here and the eccentricities of there. The migrant seeks Oz, but ends up in a Twilight Zone of the slippage between promise and fate, possibility and doom. - George Elliott Clarke, Author of Where Beauty Survived: An Africadian Memoir
These poignant stories, poetic in their detailed descriptions and flawed characters, highlight a life of challenges for those who have and those who have not and reflect a society where even class doesn't protect you from the realities of a disconnected or interrupted life. - Stella Harvey, author of Finding Callidora
With richly poetic details and a commanding voice, Sabyasachi Nag captures his characters at moments of frailty, connection, and reflection. [ Hands Like Trees ] is a collection of haunting, powerful stories by a writer to watch. - Alix Ohlin, Giller-nominated novelist
A sharp and incisive collection from a compelling new voice in Canadian fiction. -Annabel Lyon, winner of the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize
The book maps a strange physics of existence. Reading it in one stretch was like peeking into the chamber of a particle collider. The characters move damagedly in worlds of existential dread. They fear that their secrets will be discovered. - Ahmad Saidullah, author of Happiness and Other Disorders
A totally engaging experience. We come away from these stories challenged and deepened. - Stephen Morrissey, author of The Green Archetypal Field of Poetry: on poetry, poets, and psyche
The stories in&nbspHands Like Trees&nbspevoke&nbspa vivid, often disquieting world. Moving deftly from character to character, Sabyasachi&nbspNag draws us deep inside a tangle of kinship to reveal secrets both guarded and&nbspshared. A fresh and fearless collection. - Alissa York, author of&nbsp Far Cry
Glows with life in every story. Here are characters that are complex, astute, painful, funny, enlightening and most of all enjoyable. Restless men and wilful women, who seek escape but also belonging, a contradiction and elusiveness that bursts with wit and empathy. These are nimble stories imbued with insight into the ties that bind, the ties that break, stories that shimmer with the soul of a poet. Cool and fierce, the power of Sabyasachi Nag's writing pulses with grace and maturity. A marvellous debut. - John Vigna, author of&nbsp No Man's Land

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