HULLABALOO IN THE GUAVA ORCHARD is a lighthearted work told in the faux-naive style of the literary folktale. This story, by the daughter of novelist Anita Desai, works best when the pacing is as fast as the author’s touch is light, as it surely is in the final thirty or so pages. When it drags, stylistic tics become annoyingly apparent, the narrative too slender to support even a novel this short, and this talented author’s indebtedness to other writers, from Narayan and Salman Rushdie to Italo Calvino, Jerzy Kosinski and Gabriel Garcia Marquez the sign not of postmodern play but of youthful derivativeness. [continues]
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