Don't Sleep Under the Midnight Sun and Other Short Stories

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Pub Date 21 Jun 2024 | Archive Date 20 Jun 2024

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Thought-provoking and poignant, "Don't Sleep Under the Midnight Sun" explores the universal human longing for connection—whether as a stranger in a foreign country, within one's marriage, or among family who you know the most and the least—with rare and eloquent insight. Everyone's an outsider in their own lives, as the characters in Darshani Panchia's richly drawn collection of short stories illustrates. The feeling of isolation spares no one—from a disenfranchised Norwegian foreign officer haunted by memories in a politically unstable African country to a lonely woman watching her neighbor's house in the aftermath of tragedy, longing to reach out but unsure how.

Thought-provoking and poignant, "Don't Sleep Under the Midnight Sun" explores the universal human longing for connection—whether as a stranger in a foreign country, within one's marriage, or among...

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ISBN 9788269343205

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Average rating from 13 members

Featured Reviews

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not sure what to expect going into this book, especially with it being so short. I wasn't sure if it was going to really resonate with me. Thankfully, it did! Each story was very different, varying in length, character, and writing style, but they all had the same tether whether it was a story about being a diplomat in a dangerous situation abroad or about taking your dog on a walk. These stories all made me feel a current of loneliness or isolation that I think runs through all of us, whether or not we want to admit it. Each story, in some way, was about humans striving for connection -- reaching and, often, inevitably failing. All of the stories, though different, were strong, and they made me viscerally feel the isolation of the narrator. Overall, I appreciated how well the author used description to convey this sense of loneliness, and that really worked for me. I also didn't necessarily mind the length, though I don't think it would have been bad, exactly, to include more short stories in the book. It doesn't get five stars from me solely because I'm not sure it is going to really stick with me in a deep way, but I really appreciated this short little book for what it was.

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Look long and hard at the beautiful front cover illustration of this book. . .it tells you so much about the odd collection of short (seriously SHORT) stories between the front and back covers. These are stories about strangers in a strange land: how, why and if there should be any reconciliations attempted, or does one just accept the grace of time and space to answer those questions? Or should one assimilate - blend in, or no! accentuate conspicuities!, or better yet - run hell-bent for leather? So the African Cheetah inquires of the Nordic Caribou. . .

I urge readers to take their time - read one or two stories at a time and then let them simmer before diving into the next ones. They are all very different, but yet they have a few common threads, and an overarching theme of outsidedness.

Even from the names of the stories, you get the short, sharp shots:

White Kerkede
Don't Sleep Under the Midnight Sun
The Cat
The Plate
Mother Dearest

While the very brevity of the stories deprived me of much I wanted in the way of laying the story out and making better sense of it, I grew used to it. Language was also put together in odd ways, as if it was an English-as-a-second-language granduncle telling the story. Often the story was too short to fall in love with a character, but the shortest one of all, gave me plenty of time to fall for Stella.

Even the odd way some of the sentences sit next to each other, all of those hurts hiding in plain sight had me entranced. Too much narrative for poetry, but pretty darn close in some cases.

I look forward to more from Darshani Panchia.

*A sincere thank you to Darshani Panchia, Cameron Publicity & Marketing Ltd, and NetGalley for an ARC to read and review independently.* #DontSleepUndertheMidnightSunandOtherShortStories #NetGalley

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