Editor's Note

There is a distinct coherence to the June 2013 release of Out of Print, a coherence that emerged as the issue came together. Most of the eight stories carry a remarkable intimacy of perspective. Characters, confronted with their own lives, examine themselves with a sometimes brutal directness, and in the process, either reconcile or not, their existence with the larger context. A sense of the personal pervades.


Two of the stories are about relationships in a marriage. In @ The Shanghai Tea House by Brinda Narayan, Sheela Rao has insisted that she accompany her husband on a trip abroad, her first, so she can keep up with her Facebook savvy cousin. We follow her and her reflections on her marriage in quiet sightseeing adventures that she, and later she and her husband determinedly embark on, which lead ultimately to a liberation in her perspectives. In Hananah Zaheer’s A Moment of Silence, Mr Dar must, after his wife’s death, confront a deeply shocking choice that she made. His sense of freedom in ‘a new fall’, from a marriage that had hung together in an unhappy, distanced and uneasy balance after their daughter took her own life is shattered, breaking through barriers of grief and emotion.


Three stories focus on young men, two on their relationships with their bodies. Mohit Parikh’s main character in Recess has discovered his first pubic hair and goes from elation that he has entered the grown up world to uncertainty and loneliness as he imagines, with trepidation, a world he does not belong to. Ultimately he must look beyond himself and his changing body to find ways to regain his equilibrium. Evoking Andre Dubus’ remarkable story of an adolescent dealing with his burgeoning sexuality in a strictly Catholic atmosphere, Kaushik Viswanath’s Karma, tells the story of young man who holds himself in rigorous check in order not to be like his father. It is a subtle and clever character study; do we like this young man, does he like himself, as he struggles with the impositions that he has enforced on himself. 11/9 by Anubha Yadav details, with a sensitive and observant eye, the story of an unhappy transplantation of a boy in tenth grade from his Delhi environment to the United States immediately following the September 11 attack. Confused, lonely, and bullied, his reaction to the terrorist event is entirely personal and has significant consequences on his life.


Evenly paced, and studied in its telling, Neeraj Sebastian’s Bangalore in Flower takes place while the characters prepare a meal for themselves. It is a conversation between friends, interwoven with the trivia of the kitchen, and explores their narratives with a clean, directness. In Suzanne Biever’s finely told, The Blue Man, a woman converses with Krishna, for whom the story is named. Convinced that she has been reincarnated, she talks to her psychiatrist about her visitations, but in the end, it is the philosophy and wisdom of ages past that guide her in living with the injustices that define the fate that is hers. Finally, in Spiderman, perhaps the least personal of the stories, Renu Balkrishnan’s protagonist encounters a bizarre gang of car thieves whose nemesis is a little boy, seemingly beatific but wild. It is not the narrator’s story, therefore more detached in the telling, and yet, even if not specifically detailed, the impact on her is deeply felt.


The Links page now includes a connection to the Out of Print database of literary magazines that feature short fiction from South Asia, as well as to a press and publicity list.




The cover design by Yamuna Mukherjee contains artwork, by Archana Hande, and images from a piece of Kalamkari or crafted-by-pen fabric depicting stories from Indian mythology. Archana's image is from a sequence of the story board for an animation film, All is Fair in Magic White, 2009, and is rendered in acrylic, colour pencil, and charcoal pencil on cotton fabric of dimensions 3.5' x 3.5'. The piece is a satirical account of an aspiring, tumultuous, dirty and shockingly populated Bombay and its hope for a picture-postcard conversion into a global megapolis of the future. Historicity complicates this troublesome vision by raising questions of power, class and race.

Archana Hande was born in 1970 in Bangalore. She lives and works in both Mumbai and Bangalore. She holds a BFA in print making, from Viswa-bharati, Santiniketan and an MFA in print making from MS University, Baroda. She was awarded the Charles Wallace India Trust Arts Awards Residency at the Glasgow School of Arts in 2000, and a Research Residency from Pro Helvetia, Switzerland in 2010.

She has had many solo shows; major ones include All is Fair in Magic White, Delhi and Rome2010, www dot arrange your own marriage dot com, Mumbai, China, Finland, Sweden 2008-2012. She has participated in many international and national group shows such as Social Fabric, INIVA, UK, Sweden, Germany, India, Shadow Lines, Biennale Jogja XI 2011, So Close Yet So Far Away, Incheon Women Artists' Biennale, SAMTIDIGT, (concurrent), Sweden, Finland, Farewell to Post-Colonialism, The 3rd Guangzhou Triennial, The International Print Biennial, Bharat Bhavan, Bhopal, The 7th International Triennial of Prints and Drawings Grafinnova '98, Vaasa, Finland, Premio Internazionale Biella Per l'incisione, Italy, Sites of Recurrence, Boras Konstmuseum, Sweden and Dakshinachitra Madras, The Edge of Desire: Recent Art in India, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth, Asia Society and Museum, New York, Tamayo Museum Mexico city, Museum of Contemporary Art (Marco), Monterrey, Art Circus Yokohama Triennial 2005 Japan, India Express, organised by Helsinki City Art Museum, 2006, Finland.

Archana has participated and organised many events in the public space like Reclaim our Freedom Week, Mumbai, India Sabka, Mumbai. She was both an artist and an organiser in the World Social Forum held in 2004 in Mumbai, and 2007 in Nairobi, curated Artist Proof for Gallery Chemould, Mumbai, was a delegation leader for Seeds of Peace, 2005, and worked as a stage and costume designer for the play Orientation for a London based Theatre Company, 2006. In addition, she has written for Indian publications.

Most recently, she co-curated Cinema City.


Her art may be accessed at www.arrangeurownmarriage.com, and through her website. She posts regularly at her blog.




Selected stories may contain language or details that could be viewed as offensive. Readers below 18 are cautioned to use discretion. Views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily supported by Out of Print.