Subjects

The King's Harvest

Chetan Raj Shrestha, Aleph Book Company, 2013, 150 p, ISBN : 9789382277033, $20.00 (Includes free airmail shipping)

The King's Harvest

Just before midnight on New Years Eve, in a village above the Rangeet river in Sikkim, a woman called Kamala hacks her husband, Police Constable Puran, into forty-seven pieces, then walks to the nearby police station and turns herself in. At first, the murder seems an open-and-shut case to Dechen, the tough, foul- mouthed, prickly lady cop in charge of the investigation. But as she begins to delve into the lives of Kamala and Puran, she discovers a world of lies, deceit and love gone wrong, where nothing is as it seems, and the guilt of murderers is difficult to establish.

On a day of endless rain, a man emerges from thirty-two years of isolation to meet his king, whom he owes a share of the harvest from his fields. Journeying across leech-infested forests and forbidding valleys, he tells his children the story of his life one that has been full of drama and magic. But the biggest miracle of all awaits him in Gangtok...

These two novellas, united by their strong sense of place, showcase Chetan Raj Shresthas enormous gifts as a storyteller. Magical, gritty, nerve-wracking and stylish in equal measure, this is an exceptional debut.

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