The Craft of Short Story : A Critique of The Habit of Love
Author of several works of fiction and non fiction , Namita Gokhale is a well known name in the field of Indian Writing in English not only as a writer but also as a publisher and as a founder director of Jaipur Literature Festival . Her short stories published under the title The Habit of Love ( 2012) are remarkable for adding a new dimension to the craft of short story writing.
The Habit of Love is a collection of thirteen short stories encapsulating the myriad experiences of their female protagonists who lay bare before the readers their inner world – their desires , passions, fear , anxiety, happiness, anger , ennui and sadness – in kaleidoscopic lights. Based mainly on the themes of love, lust and death , these stories are interwoven with the motifs of time, memory , dreams travels and mountains. The writer frequently shifts from present to past or vice versa , making several technical innovations like unexpected , abrupt endings; use of startling similes/ metaphors; choice of queer , quirky titles for these short stories. The use of the technique of first person narrative in many of these stories imparts more intimacy to them as if the narrator is engaged in a tete- a- tete with her readers. Gokhale emphasizes the importance of a convincing narrative voice in making a short story effective. In response to a question as to which is the most critical part of a story: the storyline, the characters or the storytelling,
she says, “Finding the right voice that convincingly tells the story, whether in first person or otherwise is the most crucial part.”( Recap: Twitter chat with Namita Gokhale,TNN,22 March 2018 )
The Habit of Love Namita Gokhale. Penguine Random House India ,2012. Paper Back edition. All text citations are from this edition only. Page numbers have been given in brackets .
Interview of Namita Gokhale by Madhusree Chatterjee in Two Circles.net IANS,10 April,2012
Recap: Twitter chat with Namita Gokhale By – TNN Updated: Mar 22, 2018, 11:22 IST
‘Relishing the write stuff’: The Hindu, Metro Plus, Thursday, July 15, 2004.
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