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This Book Will Change Your Life - Each Of Us Killers by the Jenny Bhatt.

· Jenny Bhatt,Each Of Us Killers,Books,713 Books,Leland Cheuk
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What a gift being able to read. Especially now when there is so much horror and confusion. But read we do. We have no choice. Many of us anyway. What do we read about? There are stories about class, gender and age. There is being stuck. In relationships. Our own heads. Fear. Expectations. There is culture, norms and beliefs that may be new to us. As well as the stories those cultures embrace about themselves. There are immigrant stories. And sometimes there are all of these things intersecting and adjacent to one another, collected in a rich stew of storytelling that both raises and expands the form. Each Of Us Killers, the debut story collection by Jenny Bhatt, is just such an invention. It's all of these things and that they hang together as beautifully as they do is quite heady. At one point there is murder, multiple points really, at another bribery, and yet another passion, and again, at more than one point, and whatever the story what one sees is the craft. These stories sing. They also focus on the workplace. Most of us move in and out work, trying to make sense of it how it works, and Bhatt uses this familiarity to draw us into the stories she wants to tell. I might add here, that it almost feels too casual to write, "there is murder" as I did above, when the opening story, "Return to India" and the closing, and title, story, "Each of us Killers" are so painful, rolling out in such slow motion, that we feel we know what the endings will be long before we get there. Not that the stories are any less affecting because of it. If anything it makes them sadder, the inevitability of what's wrong with the world always present. "Return to India" feels almost too timely on top of it, which is not to imply that it's too much, it's more that it feels the story unfolding before us could happen any time, anywhere in America, and that is almost too much to bear. Both of these stories are terrific, as are they all, though "Journey to Stepwell" feels particularly like a writer swinging for the fences in the best of ways as it gathers a melange of themes Bhatt seems to value - work, gender, culture, family, history - and ties them together in a moving story about stories, past and future. It is the story "Pros and Cons," however that somehow lingers for me in ways I keep trying to identify. Or maybe I'm not trying to identify why. Maybe it's clear to me why this story resonates. A nearing middle-age protagonist questions the decisions they've made around work and life, enjoys a moment of great passion and then looks to a future that is grounded and full of hope. I may just know something about all of that. Did the story change my life? It might have. Or will. Did the collection? Certainly. Will it change yours? Of course.