Tales from Kashmir
Winner of the 2004 QWF McAuslan First Book Award
Seventeen Tomatoes is a series of linked stories which revolve around two Sikh boys coming of age in an Indian army camp in Kashmir. Each story takes a minor character from the previous tale and builds a new tale, weaving a collective portrait of the border community. In addition to the boys, Adi (a student of gardens) and Arjun (a budding chemist), we meet a boatman's daughter, a captured Pakistani officer, a celebrity cricket umpire and Parachute Aunty.
From modern missiles to cricket matches, from religious miracles to the sumptuous gardens of Shalimar and Nishat, Singh treats beauty and politics and religion in a gentle and humane manner.
"His scientific knowledge and diction is unusual in a storyteller--like technology and poetry smashing into each other. It's an exciting collision."
--Quill & Quire
"The robust, haunting stories of Jaspreet Singh recite an extraordinary human drama. They create a portrait of Kashmir and India that is at once convoluted, comical, raw and savage, steeped in myth yet paradoxically tempered by science. As the old and the new clash, the stories examine the edges of human experience and their wayward effects upon the heart."
"Funny, tragic, elegantly told, these Tales from Kashmir should be read everywhere."
--Kristen den Hartog
"With just the right mix of suspense and lyricism, and an exacting eye for mot juste, Jaspreet Singh weaves a tapestry out of the fabulous and the real."
Jaspreet Singh's Seventeen Tomatoes: Tales from Kashmir won the Quebec Writers' Federation 2004 First Book Prize. In 2002, Quill & Quire magazine identified him as one of "five new talents to watch." Singh grew up in India, and moved to Canada in 1990, where he received his PhD in chemical engineering from McGill University. His stories have appeared in Alphabet City (MIT Press), ascent, Coming Attractions, subTerrain, Maisonneuve, Fiddlehead, and Francis Ford Coppola's Zoetrope. His work has been featured on CBC Radio's special Remembrance Day edition on "perspectives on war in the previous century". He recently finished writing Elephants, a play, for Montreal's Infinite Theatre. He is currently at work on a novel. He is the 2006-07 Markin-Flanagan Canadian Writer-in Residence at the University of Calgary.
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