Title: Best Stories from Around the World
Editor: Deepa Agarwal
Publisher: Red Turtle, Rupa Publications
‘Best Stories from Around the World’ is a collection 15 stories with an essence of diversity. Different Authors, Different Settings, Different Times, Different Themes & Different Experiences is what sums up this anthology of timeless classics.
About the Editor
Author, Poet & Translator, Deepa Agarwal writes for both children and adults and has about fifty published books to her credit. She has received several awards for her work. Her Historical Fiction, Caravan to Tibet was featured in International Board on Books for Young People Honor List of 2008.
About the Anthology
The anthology contains stories from well known authors like Oscar Wilde, O. Henry, Saki, H. G. Wells and Jerry Pinto among others. The stories featured in this anthology are of varied lengths. A few are 5-6 pages long, the one by Arthur Conan Doyle is 30 pages long, while most of them are 10-15 pages long.
The collection is remarkable for introducing to the reader, the authors who write in languages other than English. A few translated stories have also been included in this collection.
The anthology begins with an Introduction by the Editor, in which she writes about the genre called short stories, the difficulties she faced in compiling this collection & finally, gives a brief into to every story. And then begins a journey that transports us to different places as we move through the stories.
The editor says that these stories are the ones that she liked the most among the umpteen stories that she has read throughout the years. Now the question arises that whether her favorite stories prove to be the best ones or not. For me, the answer is no. I’ve read many other stories, which are the best for me.
But one should not expect the stories in this collection to be the best ones. Because our taste varies from one another. Calling some work of art, the best, is entirely subjective. Nevertheless, the experience that this anthology provides is a memorable one. These stories will stay with me for a really long time.
Amongst the 15 stories, I was unable to read one story- Brother Rabbit’s Cradle by Joel Chandler Harris. It was owing to the dialect of a character, that I failed to understand, despite 3 attempts. Here’s a specimen of the same:
“You can’t fool folks when they git ez ol’ ez what I is! … I ain’t never see yo’ mouf dirty ’nuff fer ter be wiped with a hankcher. It’s allers clean- too clean fer ter suit me. Dar’s yo’ pa …”
This particular character is present till the ending, so I didn’t read this story.Besides this particular story, others were all worth a read. My favorite ones from the collection are: The Gift of the Magi, The Brave Tin Soldier, Freedom, A Minkin Eared Ewe and Saritha Kamakshi Makes a Mistake.
Despite the diverse nature of all the stories, there are about 6 stories that are more suitable for children. This may be attributed to the fact that the editor has written most books for children only. But still, even an adult reader can enjoy those stories. But a part of my heart craved for some better stories in place of those stories.
I would recommend this book to anyone who loves reading stories. This book is indeed, a must have.
My Rating: **** (4/5)
What are your views about this collection? Have you read any of the stories that I mentioned in this post? Which is your favorite story? Do share your thoughts. Thanks.
*I received a review copy from the Publishers. Views expressed are entirely personal & unbiased.*