Insects Are Just Like You and Me Except Some of Them Have Wings


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A centipede in a shoe, revelations in a shoebox, nosebleeds, exploding women, and a dead mouse named Miraculous populate this collection of thirty-five short stories from one of India’s most original young writers.

Kuzhali Manickavel was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, lived in various places around Canada, and moved to Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu, India when she was thirteen years old. Contrary to popular belief, she is not very fond of insects.

“[This book] is just very, very beautiful. The stories it collects are by turns weird, whimsical, surreal, visceral, haunting, quirky and fantastic”–The Guardian

“Kuzhali Manickavel writes dense, dazzling prose that is thick with local grit and soars in a cosmopolitan wonderland. It’s heartbreaking and beautiful and also completely bonkers.”–Africa is a Country

“…possibly the most intriguing book on the list of thrilling publications from the house of Blaft… Manickavel (who titled a section of a recent blog post on Indian writing in English ‘Do not have an unnecessarily complicated name like Kuzhali Manickavel’) writes in English and lives in Chidambaram. The stories in Insects are sometimes as short as half a page and occasionally as long as twelve pages. Many of them do feature insects, or at least insect imagery, and diagrams of insects with witty labels are found throughout the book, such as the one shown here of an earwig representing childhood mythology. It is difficult to think of a way to encapsulate this collection of so many unusual and imaginative stories: other reviewers refer to them as dream-like. I think it better to call them surreal; also: intricate, ironic and frequently hilarious, though sometimes very, very sad.”–Bookslut

“Bloody fantastic”–Sarnath Banerjee


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Binding Type: Paperback
Author: Kuzhali Manickavel
Published: 09/10/2008
Publisher: Blaft Publications
ISBN: 9788190605632
Pages: 154
Weight: 0.65lbs
Size: 8.30h x 5.40w x 0.40d

Additional information

Weight0.65 lbs
Dimensions8.3 × 5.4 × 0.4 in