Speaking Tiger and Cinnamon will host a discussion on The Escapists of J. Mullick Road on Sunday, 23 September at 6:30 p.m. at Cinnamon, Gangadhar Chetty Road, Bengaluru. The author, Usha Ananda Krishna, will be in conversation with Dr. Cherian Alexander, Professor & Head, Department of English at St Joseph’s College, Bengaluru. Their discussion will be followed by a book reading by Rajesh Vidyasagar, former director World Bank, Professional Storyteller and Theatre Actor, Washington DC.
Set in the bleak Communist Calcutta of the 1980s, The Escapists of J. Mullick Road is a wry meditation on a fabled city in physical and moral decline. Usha Ananda Krishna’s subtly witty but compassionate take on the disparate lives that entwine over the building of a house is a tour de force of modern literary writing.
In the aftermath of a bizarre confrontation with Kalol Mondal—a small-time hustler and Party goon—Pinaki Bose, a timid Bengali babu, bumbles into the ambit of the savagely brilliant architect, Biren Roy. Dazzled by Biren’s breadth of vision and utter contempt for the conventional, he commissions him to design a country house—committing the whole family’s savings to it. But Biren, paralyzed by his grand ideals and his passion for perfection, is slowly sinking into a drunken torpor. And Pinaki, ignorant of the Party’s involvement in all land deals, must endure not just Kalol Mondal’s ominous presence while buying his plot, but more worryingly, his infatuation with Pinaki’s young daughter.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Usha Ananda Krishna graduated from the School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi and worked as an architect in Bangalore and Kolkata. In 1980 she began writing advertising copy, interspersing the two careers for many years. Her first novel A Turbulent Passage was published in 1995, followed in 2009 by Fallout, a family drama written in the mordantly witty style that characterizes her work. Her interests are reading, architecture and contemporary art.