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One of the meanings of the word ‘olio’ is ‘a miscellany’. The books in the Aleph Olio series contain a mélange of the best writing to be had on a variety of themes, and present aspects of India and Indian life in ways that have seldom been seen before.

Ways of Dying comprises stories and essays of deep insight into an inevitable part of life—death. The pieces in the book include Amitav Ghosh on the assassination of Indira Gandhi and its aftermath, Ruskin Bond on memories of his father’s funeral, Amitava Kumar on how it is necessary to find comfort and solace in the midst of profound grief, Mahasweta Devi on murder and revenge in rural India, and Atul Gawande on assisted suicide and what doctors fear the most when faced with the mortality of their patients.

Elsewhere in the anthology, the reader will find one of Munshi Premchand’s greatest stories, ‘The Shroud’, a peerless meditation on the hypocrisies and feigned grief of dysfunctional families on the death of a family member, balanced by Khushwant Singh’s poignant essay on the death of his beloved grandmother.

Rounding out the selection are George Orwell on the complex reasons that often lead to innocent blood being shed, David Davidar on the sadness and turmoil that whirls through a family upon the death of a patriarch, and Kolakaluri Enoch on the tragic death of a young girl.

The Ghosts of Mrs Gandhi by Amitav Ghosh

The Funeral by Ruskin Bond

Pyre by Amitava Kumar

Seed by Mahasweta Devi

Being Mortal by Atul Gawande

The Shroud by Munshi Premchand

The Portrait of a Lady by Khushwant Singh

Shooting an Elephant by George Orwell

Death of a Patriarch by David Davidar

Hunger by Kolakaluri Enoch

Ways of Dying: Stories and Essays by Amitav Ghosh

  • Estimated delivery 2-3 weeks

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