Upon Thinking of Death
Ann Susan Aleyas
WAYS OF DYING: STORIES & ESSAYS by Amitav Ghosh, Ruskin Bond, Amitava Kumar, Mahasweta Devi, Atul Gawande, Munshi Premchand, Khushwant Singh, George Orwell, David Davidar, Kolakaluri Enoch Aleph Book Company, 2020, 124 pp., 399.00
January 2021, volume 45, No 1

Ways of Dying: Stories & Essays is the sixth publication  in the Aleph Olio series. Much like other works in the series such as Love and Lust, Notes from Hinterland, In a Violent Land, Ways of Dying is an ‘olio’ or miscellany of remarkable works of fiction and non-fiction, all of which harp on the sure companion of life: death.

Through the assemblage of works from renowned writers such as Amitav Ghosh, Mahasweta Devi, Ruskin Bond, George Orwell, Kolakaluri Enoch and others, the anthology traverses across multiple spatio-temporal geographies, with a few works rendered in translation. Through this, the collection explores not only the different ‘ways’ of dying, but also of remembering and re-presenting death. It harps as much on the ephemerality of life, and finality of death, as it does on the ethical and collective act of writing/reading, and through it, memorializing the bygone. Overall, a tenor of patient and poignant contemplation characterizes many of the works in this collection as it presents to us sketches from personal to public memory.

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