Over sixteen sparkling stories, Indra Bahadur Rai, the greatest contemporary writer in the Nepali language, skilfully narrates the individual lives and shared histories of a people.
A storm batters a hillside farmstead through the night, and the family living in it debates its decision to give up the comforts of Darjeeling town for the pride of owning land. Ancient law allows Harshajit to cut down Rudraman, who has staked claim to his wife Thuli, but when Harshajit catches up with the couple after days of relentless chase, he witnesses a fearsome encounter that compels him to consecrate their marriage with his own hands. When a man on his way to Darjeeling stops in a bungalow near the Teesta river, he is drawn to the conversation of the labourers next door and, in their chatter about the ideal recipe for cooking kheer, he gains a profound insight into the human condition. And Jayamaya, part of the Gurkha community in Burma forced on a long march to India during the Second World War, helplessly witnesses her life disintegrate in the face of invasion.
Lyrically translated, the stories in Long Night of Storm are wise, psychologically astute and deeply compassionate. A collection that will yield more at every reading, this is a book to keep returning to.