None Other conjures a vivid portrait of a man who is old, alone and dying. Trapped in his house, consumed with lust, shame and loathing, he scribbles his frenzied ramblings in his notebooks. But what begins as a bitter tirade transforms into an anguished meditation on loneliness and the quest for solace. In Here I Am if I Am, translated into English for the first time, a hunchback at a desolate roadside contemplates the precariousness of his own existence even as his tormented mind unravels. Hypnotic and unsettling, Krishna Baldev Vaid’s highly innovative novellas expertly explore some of our biggest anxieties: the fear of abandonment, the treachery of memory and the imminence of death.
About the Author
Krishna Baldev Vaid, born in 1927 in Dinga, now in Pakistan, is a major Hindi writer known for his iconoclastic and innovative work. He survived the horrifying carnage that accompanied the partition of the Indian subcontinent, and regards his involuntary transplantation to the Indian side of the border as his most traumatic existential experience. Vaid was educated at Punjab and Harvard universities, and has taught at Indian and American universities. He has published novels, novellas, short stories, plays, diaries, literary criticism and translations. Among the many great books that comprise his prolific literary career, perhaps his best-known and most-loved work is the extraordinary coming-of-age novel Uska Bachpan (published in Penguin Classics as Steps in Darkness). His work has been translated into and published in English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Russian, Japanese and several Indian languages.