Here are seven superb, subtle, surprising stories that show, through a prism of unforgettable characters, what it means to live between two worlds: India and Canada.
Anosh Irani, the masterful, bestselling author of The Parcel and The Song of Kahunsha, knows of what he writes: Twenty years ago, to the mystification of family and friends, Irani left India for Vancouver, Canada, a city and a country completely foreign to him. His plan was both grand and impractical: he would reinvent himself as a writer. Miraculously, he did just that, publishing critically acclaimed novels and plays set in his beloved hometown of Mumbai. But this uprooting did not come without a steep price--one that Irani for the first time directly explores in this book.
In these stunning stories and one "half truth" (a semi-fictional meditation on the experience of being an immigrant) we meet a swimming instructor determined to reenact John Cheever's iconic short story "The Swimmer" in the pools of Mumbai; a famous Indian chef who breaks down on a New York talk show; a gangster's wife who believes a penguin at the Mumbai zoo is the reincarnation of her lost child; an illegal immigrant in Vancouver who plays a fateful game of cricket; and a kindly sweets-shop owner whose hope for a new life in Canada leads to a terrible choice. The book starts and ends with a gorgeous, emotionally raw "translation" to the page of the author's own life between worlds, blurring the line between fiction and fact. Translated from the Gibberish confirms Anosh Irani as a unique, inventive, vitally important voice in contemporary fiction.
ANOSH IRANI has published four critically acclaimed and award-winning novels: The Cripple and His Talismans (2004), a national bestseller; The Song of Kahunsha (2006), which was an international bestseller and shortlisted for Canada Reads and the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize; Dahanu Road (2010), which was a finalist for the Man Asian Literary Prize, and The Parcel (2016), which was a finalist for the Governor General's Literary Award for Fiction and the Writers' Trust Fiction Prize. His play Bombay Black won the Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding New Play (2006), and his anthology The Bombay Plays: The Matka King & Bombay Black (2006) and his play Men in White were both shortlisted for the Governor General's Literary Award for Drama. He lives in Vancouver.
“Part short fiction and, seemingly, part auto-fiction, Anosh Irani’s latest book takes readers into and around the experiences of living between countries—Canada and India—between identities, and between stories. . . . Through Irani’s patient and smooth prose . . . the intense longing and agony of these protagonists shine through the charm and inventiveness of the plots. The stories are flanked by Irani’s beautiful and visceral reflections on his own experience as an immigrant. . . . All of it cast in language that is as hopeful as it is stirring. . . . Irani is an expert and unique storyteller, no sentence being superfluous or underwhelming. . . . In its style, scope, and narrative magnetism, Translated from the Gibberish is especially inventive and unforgettable.” —Quill and Quire (starred review)
“Told through a series of lyrical meditations—interspersed with some sharply funny but dark moments . . . Irani observes how immigrants can feel both untethered and trapped at the same time.” —Toronto Star
“Masterfully narrated. . . . Irani’s scenarios have an intriguing, dramatic immediacy.” —The Vancouver Sun
PRAISE FOR ANOSH IRANI'S THE PARCEL:
“A magnificent novel with powerfully imagined characters . . . bold, bawdy, tender, funny, sorrowful, all that life is made up of.” —Anita Rau Badami, author of The Hero’s Walk
“Every third sentence or so I had to check my heart because the story kept stopping it. . . . The lived experiences feel real and the emotional cadence of the book’s rhythms hit with the power of a groundswell. I dare anyone to read The Parcel and remain unmoved. . . . [T]his book sure packs a punch.” —Yasuko Thanh, author of Mysterious Fragrance of the Yellow Mountains
“[V]isceral, gritty and vivid . . . If you are looking for a compelling story, read The Parcel.” —Shelagh Rogers, CBC Books
“While The Parcel is unflinching in its depiction of the violence and poverty that have plagued the [Mumbai red-light] district and its residents for generations, Madhu’s hopefulness and strength, and Irani’s beautiful language, maintain the book’s inner light.” —Quill & Quire
“Part of the way this excellent book heals such a sprawling, horrifying reality is with beauty and religious depth.” —The Globe and Mail
“[A]rresting . . . A searing, disturbing, and intimate portrait of Kamathipura . . . his novel exposes a heartbreaking reality.” —The Vancouver Sun