Electric Feather : The Tranquebar Book Of Erotic Stories Hardcover – 2009
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Of all human appetite, the sexual is both the least appeaseable and the most romanticised in literature. So here is a feast of erotica, spread across the pages by the most exciting writers in the subcontinent today, and collated by acclaimed author Ruchir Joshi. The Tranquebar Book of Erotic Stories is an unadulterated, edgy look at sex and passion. In the steaming pot of selections that makes up the anthology, we move from boarding school corridors, air thick with unfulfilled hunger, to a young girl's discovery of lust amidst death; from sexual games on the night of a wedding, to a journey that breaks down barriers, both sexual and physical. Electric and lyrical, teasing and tender in turns, the stories in this compilation explore relationships with wit, perspicacity and a level of honesty that has rarely been explored before. Can anyone map the labyrinth of human desire, asks one writer. ???Get me a drink,' she says, ???and I'll explain.' About the Author Ruchir Joshi, film-maker and writer has made several award-winning documentaries, including Eleven Miles (1991) and Tales from Planet Kolkata (1993). Joshi's first novel, The Last Jet Engine Laugh, was published to acclaim in the UK and India in 2001. He is currently working on his second novel.
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Samit Basu’s The Wedding Night is nothing but unadulterated sex amidst games on the night of a wedding. Sheba Karim's gentle story of a girl down on vacation, and infatuated by her aunt was subtly nuanced and written with the kind of restraint that makes writing effective. Niven Govindan's story about a pair of gay lovers in Amsterdam, who are bound to each by a painful bond of hurting and pleasure makes for fascinating reading.
Tishani Doshi and Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan, both surprise us with non-confessional stories about inexperience. In Madhavan’s story, a 27-year old man loses his virginity, courtesy of a colleague. In Doshi’s, a matronly woman in her first relationship pleasures herself on a train, text messaging her married lover through the night.
On the other hand, couple of stories completely baffled me and made me question their presence in the anthology. The one by Abeer Hoque is straight out of some research paper on sexology and is utterly distracting by the insertion of those irritating footnotes. Same with Rana Dasgupta's 'Swimming Pool' which may appear to be a bold editorial choice but failed to made an impression despite an edgy premise.
There is a nice mix of what i call as highbrow erotica for the literary snobs and titillating, drooling stuff for the young teenagers and arguably, that is the best marketing way to sell more books. There is something for everyone here. Read when your sex hormones are in over drive, guilty pleasure at its best.
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