Magazine article New Internationalist

Mistress

Magazine article New Internationalist

Mistress

Article excerpt

Mistress

by Anita Nair (BlackAmber ISBN 1905147309)

Anita Nair's third novel, Mistress, is set in a riverside resort in Kerala, south India, among the artists and dancers of the kathakali dramatic art form. Into this intense and insular world appears an outsider, Christopher Stewart, a charismatic travel writer who has come to Kerala to interview the famous dancer Koman. As the two men discuss Koman's life and the development of his craft, Stewart is increasingly attracted to Koman's niece, Radha, a relationship complicated by the fact that she is already married to Hyam.

The story of this love triangle is told from the overlapping first-person viewpoints of these central characters and, with its structure of three 'books' of three sections each, the narrative mirrors the arc of a kathakali performance, in all its colour, drama and heightened emotions. …

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