The Craft of Short Story : A Critique of The Habit of Love


  • Dr Madhu D Singh



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 )


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Author Biography

Dr Madhu D Singh

Professor  and  Head

Department of  English

Shri Guru Ram Rai (P.G.) College

Dehradun, Uttarkhand, India


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 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.




How to Cite

D Singh, D. M. . . (2021). The Craft of Short Story : A Critique of The Habit of Love . SMART MOVES JOURNAL IJELLH, 9(7), 130–138.