The Artist of Disappearance

By Anita Desai
(Dreamscape Media, MP3 CD, 9781611205077)

Publication Date: December 2011

Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover, Paperback, Hardcover, Compact Disc

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Description

Award-winning, internationally acclaimed author Anita Desai ruminates on art and memory, illusion and disillusion, and the sharp divide between life's expectations and its realities in three perfectly etched novellas. Set in India in the not-too-distant past, the dramas illuminate the ways in which Indian culture can nourish or suffocate. All are served up with Desai's characteristic perspicuity, subtle humor, and sensitive writing. Overwhelmed by their own lack of purpose, the men and women who populate these tales set out on unexpected journeys that present them with a fresh sense of hope and opportunity. Like flies in a spider's web, however, they cannot escape their surroundings - as none of us can. An impeccable craftsman, Desai elegantly reveals our human frailties and the power of place.




About the Author

Anita Desai is the author of Fasting, Feasting, Baumgartner's Bombay, Clear Light of Day, and Diamond Dust, among other works. Three of her books have been shortlisted for the Booker Prize. Desai was born and educated in India and now lives in the New York City area. Anita Desai is the author of Fasting, Feasting, Baumgartner's Bombay, Clear Light of Day, and Diamond Dust, among other works. Three of her books have been shortlisted for the Booker Prize. Desai was born and educated in India and now lives in the New York City area.

READER BIO
Anne is an accomplished British actress with lead credits in stage, TV, commercials, voiceovers and audio books. She has over 300 audio book titles, in all genres, to her credit, along with several awards and distinctions. These include an American Library Association Special Services for Children Award, two AudioFile Earphone Awards, a Sukey Howard Favorite Selection, USA Today Recommended Listening, and three Audie Nominations.

James Langton trained as an actor at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. An AudioFile Earphones Award winner, he has performed many voice-overs and narrated numerous audiobooks, including the international bestseller The Brotherhood of the Holy Shroud by Julia Navarro. He is also a professional musician who led the internationally renowned Pasadena Roof Orchestra from 1996 to 2002. James was born in York, England, and is now based in New York City.




NPR
Friday, Dec 23, 2011

The Artist of Disappearance, from Indian writer Anita Desai, is a trilogy. All three works dwell on themes of change and permanence, and they illustrate the conflicts and challenges of modern Indian culture. More at NPR.org

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NPR
Saturday, Dec 10, 2011

The Artist of Disappearance contains three novellas set in modern India. Anita Desai's somber stories read like three symphonic movements in a minor key. Desai talks with NPR's Scott Simon about her writing, and about working with her daughter, novelist Kiran Desai. More at NPR.org

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Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com

CONVERSATION STARTERS

  1. “The Artist of Disappearance” is the title of one of the book’s novellas. It is also the title of the book. Why do you think the author decided to use this title to represent the entire collection? What different expectations might you have had if the book were titled The Museum of Final Journeys or Translator Translated




Praise For The Artist of Disappearance

Starred Review. "...ensnaring novellas of consummate artistry and profoundly disquieting perceptions...master storyteller...provocative and mysterious..." - Booklist
"...poignant and wry...a deft exploration of the limits people place on themselves by trying to cling to the past." - Kirkus Reviews
"This collection leaves an indelible impression of the conflicts and ambitions found in a region riddled with conflict." - Publishers Weekly
"Desai is a brilliant anatomist of men and women who seek and gain but fail to triumph." - The New York Times, "Editors' Choice"
"A pleasurably irony reading about these lost landscapes of the Indian soul sketched so deftly by Anita Desai." - NPR
"You'll find yourself whipping through pages...stopping only to drool over their descriptions, which is the real treasure of this book, sentences as wondrous as the wonders they bring to life." - Oprah, "Book of the Week"
"...superb...deceptively subtle, slightly surreal and profoundly insightful fiction." - The Washington Post
"...sensitive, subtle and unsettling...heartbreakingly honest...Delicate and deeply affecting." - Barnes & Noble Review
"Desai explores [India] with such heart in this collection. It's a minute, multifarious world, totally unlike any other." - Los Angeles Times
"...beautiful...Desai's novellas are classic, entranced with the grace of slowly unspooling narrative...breathtaking portraits of contemporary India..." - Boston Globe
"As shrewd as she is compassionate, Desai crafts little snow globes in which characters - trapped, magnified and exposed to unfriendly eyes - try to find ways to live within their limits." - The Columbus Dispatch
"The three novellas collected here provide a varied portrayal of contemporary Indian life both urban and rural...united by complementary themes and, of course, by Desai's clear, precise and often lovely prose." - BookReporter.com

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