October 7, 2022

KITAAB

Connecting Asian writers with global readers

Book Review: The Body by the Shore by Tabish Khair

1 min read

Varsha Tiwary reviews Tabish Khair’s The Body by the Shore (Interlink Books, 2022) and observes how this dystopian tale is pulled along by the narratives of three protagonists.

“He had chosen one of the few nations to escape lightly not just the consequences of the virus but what continued to come after it, the accelerating roller-coaster ride of economies, turning entire nations into kingdoms run by oligarchs and corporate robber barons, under the thin veneer of elected Parliaments and free media..”

The genius of  Tabish Khair’s latest offering, “The Body By The Shore,”  is the way it unpacks the effects of global love for fascism, purity, privatization, and profit as the highest good, through a speculative suspense story set in a post-pandemic Denmark in the year 2030. My first reaction, when I started reading it, was: what about India, Tabish? Have you dispensed with the quaint little Phansa, somewhere in Bihar, which till now, has featured in every book of yours? And the second: to what extent can such abstract questions be embodied in, and as fiction? 

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