White Man Falling
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More About This Title White Man Falling
This winner of the Goss First Novel Award 2006 is a tale of domestic catastrophe, accidental crime-busting, deluded matchmaking, and mystical absurdity set in a small town in South India. Police sub-inspector Swami has lost his job after suffering a stroke while beating up a Very Guilty Suspect. He can no longer talk properly, command the respect of his community, or give his six daughters the bankrupting dowries they deserveand his wife is obsessed with securing the Most Expensive Husbands in India. No wonder Swami has lost his pride and wants to kill himself using only a puncture repair kit. Surely a man in these circumstances has good reason to feel cursed when a white man falls out of the sky and lands on him in a busy street, dying in front of his eyes and making him a laughing stock. But as further strange incidents occur, Swami’s hometown starts to believe he is walking with God, and life becomes easier. Mike Stocks’s comic tour de force brilliantly exemplifies how sometimes in life meaningless events can produce meaningful effects.
Mike Stocks writes novels, children’s books, poetry, and translations, and has worked both as a lexicographer and as an editor for several British publishers. He is the founder and editor of Anon, the anonymous submissions poetry magazine.
"That rare and wondrous thinga perfectly realized serious comic novel. That it is also a first novel makes it all the more extraordinary." Sarah Dunant, author, The Birth of Venus"It is the precision and originality of Mike Stocks's prose that makes this tragicomedy of Indian manners hard to put down and a joy to pick up." The Spectator"A warm-hearted comedy . . . Stocks’s poetic background . . . manifests itself in beautiful turns of phrase . . . and in the interweaving of Indian English throughout the text. There is a vogue in contemporary fiction for leaping between characters and timeframes like a flea seeking a tasty host. White Man Falling is a reminder that a single location and perspective, and linear chronology, can be deeply satisfying." The Times"The writing is witty and engaging . . . an entertaining read, with all the ingredients of a comedy of errorsconfusion, deluded matchmaking, mystical absurdity. There are underlying metaphors, but the book is essentially a satire of the search for meaning in the meaningless." The New Statesman"A witty and occasionally lyrical novel." The Melbourne Age