One Arm Shorter Than The Other
by Gigi Ganguly
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Pub Date 5 Apr 2022 | Archive Date 18 Apr 2022
Some repairs are timeless.
Strange things are happening in the heart of Delhi. At Dadaji’s repair shop in Chandni Chowk, every broken object that passes through its seasoned teak doors is being transformed into something much...more.
A two-part novella, One Arm Shorter Than The Other weaves mysteries of fantasy with sci-fi possibilities.
A Note From the Publisher
While this novella is gently presented with sensitivity in mind, content notes are available at atthisarts.com/content.
"I greatly admire Gigi Ganguly's vivid and beautiful writing, and I loved this novella." — Joseph O'Connor, award-winning novelist and Professor of Creative Writing
"This story calls Bradbury and King to mind, but Gigi Ganguly cuts her own path here with an evocative mixture of psychological realism, magic realism, and the uncanny. The interconnected tales that make up this novella are by themselves unnerving, tragic, and hilarious meditations on memory, loss, and regret; combined, they form something unique that will linger with the reader, as enigmatic as the mysterious repair shop that links them. From the Old Delhi setting to the ensemble cast of characters, all wounded by personal or family history, this is an extraordinary debut." — Jack Fennell, writer and anthologist
"Gigi is the kind of writer who strives to bring light and joy into her readers' lives. One Arm Shorter Than The Other is a gorgeous, skillfully wrought, millennia-spanning feat of imagination, written with warmth and tenderness and great humour. I was enchanted by this novel, and uplifted. This kind of story is good for the soul." — Donal Ryan, four-time Irish Book Award winner
"A story that is both heartwarming and mind bending, One Arm Shorter Than The Other is a startlingly original work." — Reviewer Wyn Lewis, 5 Stars
One Arm Shorter Than The Other explores genre categorization by weaving quiet fantasy, science fiction, historical fiction, and literary prose within a two-part novella format. The author (Gigi Ganguly, she/her, India) and cover illustrator (Haricha Abdaal, she/her, UK) are BIPOC women, and the editor (E.D.E. Bell, she/her or e/em, US) is a queer and mentally disabled cassgender woman. The book is written in Indian English.
The story is presented gently, and is appropriate for most ages. We hope that One Arm Shorter Than The Other will reach broad and unexpected audiences, ranging from speculative fiction readers, literary readers, readers of South Asian and global storytelling, and students of culture and writing.
We have styled the cover as Gigi Ganguly’s One Arm Shorter Than The Other in the spirit of the feelings of sensory media within the story, but the book may be appropriately referred to as either Gigi Ganguly’s One Arm Shorter Than The Other or One Arm Shorter Than The Other by Gigi Ganguly. The title is intentionally styled with all words capitalized. A hard G is used to pronounce all G’s in the author’s name.
The novella release date is 05 April 2022, and we welcome any opportunity to promote this title in advance. We are a small press who has struggled greatly through the pandemic, and hope so much for this book to be seen and enjoyed so we can continue to bring books like this to life.
We welcome blog posts and reviews. The author is available for interviews and podcasts. We encourage interested booksellers, libraries, schools, or clubs to request print ARCs.
Thank you so much for your interest and support.
[Image Description: The cover is patterned with a large, Delhi-style silvertoned jali over a delicate medium-jade-colored background and wound with small rose-colored roses. Overtop are stretched two arms, medium-toned, hands wrinkled with age, and wearing loose beige sleeves. Between them in a modern dark emerald-color is "Gigi Ganguly's One Arm Shorter Than The Other."]
Average rating from 22 members
Described as speculative fiction, or “spec-fi”, Gigy Ganguly’s two-part novella “One Arm Shorter Than The Other” is an imaginative and wildly original slice of sci-fi quirkiness. At first the book appears to consist of separate stories of people visiting an unusual repair shop, but they are in fact chapters in one single, stunning novella. Everything is interconnected and spans a vast timeline from the past to the far future.
Set in Delhi, the proprietor (who has one arm shorter than the other) of a curious shop, “Repair Services”, called “Dadaji” (grandfather) by his granddaughter and assistant Jaya, helps people fix their items but also improves the objects and, sometimes, their lives in unimaginable ways. How he does this is revealed at the end of the story.
In part one, we meet the shop’s diverse customers: an old man coming to terms with the loss of his wife and his own mortality has his film projector, and his heart, repaired; an ageing, resentful actor’s life changes completely, but ultimately not for the better, when he adjusts the settings of his recently fixed television; and a retired book lover receives a retirement gift of a broken radio and unwittingly lays the foundations for the future itself.
In part two, we are in the far future, when time travel is a reality, and we are introduced to a young man who is forced to travel into the distant past to repair a terracotta vase. This section of the story is a sci-fi fan’s dream with at least three good ideas for future tech on each page. This is the heart of the tale, and everything that has proceeded it is finally explained.
This book is a short read but the story is tightly plotted and concise and the characters are well-written and likeable. A story that is both heartwarming and mind bending, “One Arm Shorter Than The Other” is a startlingly original work. It is written in the present tense which gives the tale a sense of immediacy and timelessness. Ganguly’s writing is strongly reminiscent of Philip K. Dick in its use of speculation about the future, and I can’t think of a better compliment. It is science fiction, but not greatly so, and the story remains very human at its heart. I am so glad I took a chance on this magical book and strongly recommend it to lovers of imaginative fiction.
Relatable characters, colourful descriptions and just a touch of mystery is what makes this book a success.
It opens with what looks like a collection of short stories having one character in common. Then, as you keep on reading, you figure out everything's linked. This was an interesting short read featuring historical and contemporary India, where mystery, fantasy and sci-fi collides. Mind-bending!
I wasn’t expecting One arm shorter than the other to be this brilliant! This speculative fiction book is a two part novella that reads like a short story collection with one common character—the person with one arm shorter than the other. People come see him to repair their old electronics. Is he a magician? An alien? Does he transport people in time? Space? I kept guessing and speculating on the events!! This is a wonderful mind-bending debut. The storyline set in historical India made me nostalgic for the street food!!
Thank you Atthis Art via Netgalley for the arc.
First book of the year and this was just amazing!
I’ve only recently started to read Desi Sci-Fi and Speculative Fiction and this is one of the best plot twist but complete short stories novel I’ve read.
From the setting in Delhi to the plot twists of each item and how they affect the owner after repair to the final story connecting them all, I highly recommend you read this.
One Arm Shorter Than The Other is a two-part Science-Fiction/Fantasy novella with a feel-good factor. I would class this as speculative fiction as the author weaves elegant short stories into a unified conclusion. As we eventually find out, everything is interconnected.
This being a novella is a fairly short read, so it does not take long to get through. But I feel it will be one of those books that I will read again just for the sheer delight of knowing it has a cheerful feel surrounding it.
The writing is top-notch and has a poetic lilt without it being overly bogged down with heavily laden dialogue.
The characters are okay, and there are some fascinating ones. But it is the stories, not the individuals themselves, which make One Arm Shorter Than The Other actually work.
As someone who loves tinkering and fixing things, I loved the idea of an old fashioned shop that goes out of its way to help people by mending old appliances. Even as in this case, it was in a surprisingly special way. It just brought a warm glow to my heart.
One Arm Shorter Than The Other is a truly unique and spellbinding novella that will catch your attention and not let go. Beautifully written, with a story with a great premise and which I believe is a stunning achievement.
This is an exceptional book, and I definitely recommend that you give it a read.
Thank you, NetGalley and Atthis Arts, for the ARC.
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