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Paperback review: I Am an Executioner, By Rajesh Parameswaran


This collection of nine short stories is subtitled "Love Stories" – but the loves are of unexpected kinds.

The first story is narrated by a tiger in a zoo who falls in love with his keeper; another, narrated by a photograph (who keeps upbraiding the author for the things he makes him say and do), is of an Indian railway official who is having a homosexual relationship with his office assistant; the title story, written in strange, fractured English, is about a hangman whose marriage is unconsummated. The tales are wild, inventive, unpredictable, and pull the reader in from the very first line. One begins: "When the phone rang the night before Thanskgiving, Saveetri Veeraghavan was doing her best to forget that her husband, Ravi, lay dead on the living-room floor."