Few days back Random House India and msn have conducted a short story contest to find twelve fine women writers. There were three themes.
"Growing up in India: Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes"
"Woman in the city: Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn"
"The man in my life: Being with him made her feel as though her soul had escaped from the narrow confines of her island country into the vast, extravagant spaces of his"
Generally, I don't like reading collection of short stories but I had a great expectation from this book as it contained selected stories from selected writers through a contest.
She Writes is a collection of 12 stories. And the winning stories and writers are:
The other people's life: Anisha Bhaduri
The tourist: Jyotsna Jha
Revelation: Aprameya Manthena
A tale of destiny: Amrita Saikia
Yoke mates: Sheela Jayawant
Winds of indifference: Shreya Manjunath
Mantras of Love: Yishet Doma
Spaces: Prarthana Rao
White Chilly: DR. Geeta Sundar
Mirage: Santana Pathak
A Boston Brahmin: Belinder Dhanoa
The book starts with an introduction by Preeti Shenoy. I liked it when she said that "A collection of short stories is a treat, like a box of assorted chocolates for if you do not like one there is always another one you can help yourself to."
First story "The other people's life" tells about a newly wed Bengali woman Konica, who is feeling uncomfortable on her honeymoon.
"The tourist" is about an Anglo-Indian girl Michele who unwillingly visits India and falls in love with a doctor but later finds out a shocking fact about him that shakes her.
"Conundrum" reminded me of a case in crime patrol where two widow women are friends. But one of them is happy with her family while another one is poor, dependent and finds herself lonely.
"White Chilly" is a nice story that tells about an inexplicable bond between two women who meet during their walk. I particularly liked this story.
And so on....(Here I've mentioned the stories that I have finished easily)
Well, although, the profiles of winning writers are quite impressive, stories are very ordinary. Some of them are nicely written but are very common. Some stories have nice theme but seem scattered. Unfortunately, according to me, some stories don't make any sense. Over all, there's not a single "Wow" story. I thought it would be a great collection but I'm disappointed. Also price of the book is too high for a short story collection (Rs. 299) especially when these stories are not coming from any celebrity/famous writers.
I got this book from Random Reads, official blog of Random House India, for an unbiased review.