Bathing Elephants by Leela Devi Panikar

Bathing Elephants by Leela Devi Panikar

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is Leela Devi Panikar’s second short story anthology. Her first, Floating Petals, was published by NanaDon in 2007. Leela says about that first collection:

You can sit by a river all day long just to watch what the current carries past. Depending on the day and where you live, it could be small boats with fisherman, young children on inner tubes, paper lanterns lit by candles, or bodies. And the only thing they will have in common is the river itself. The same is true of these stories. They range from a first day at school, to running away from home, to the breaking of feet, to the death of a husband still alive. And all they have in common is me, and what flowed through my mind on the days I wrote them. (From the back cover.)

In the same way, all the six stories in Bathing Elephants have in common is the close observation and evocative prose of their author. And that is enough. The stories are longer and broader than in the first collection, emotional and resonant, yet timeless in their recreation of human stories, human emotions. It isn’t enough to read them just once.

My recommendation: Excellent. Read them both.

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2 thoughts on “Bathing Elephants by Leela Devi Panikar

  1. They sound interesting, but I am not a fan of the short story/anthology form of literature – maybe I am too right brained, but I do like resolution in fiction – I have had short stories ‘haunt’ me for years as there were too many loose threads…….

    Blessings and prayers

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