‘Anthology Of Young Authors’–Book Review

Mini Gill,

Assistant Professor, Sri Aurobindo College (Eve), Delhi University

Stories are a part of life whether we write them on paper or not, but every moment of our life is interwoven into the framework of stories. It would be a strange statement if we say that hardly a day passes when we are not creating, listening or being a part of a story. We are always in conversation with people around us and during night, dreams come to tell tales, but when it comes to the point of penning them down, a lot of us shy away.

The present anthology, ‘Anthology Of Young Authors’ is really impressive in the sense that here we are reading stories written by young students between the age groups of 13-17, an age when they are trying to understand the world around them, at times contradicting the view the world presents and the next moment reconciling with the idea that nature, friends, teachers and parents put before them. The experience to weave words, expressing inter-personal relationships and taking in nature by such young minds is nothing short of magic. As we go through each story, it dawns upon us that it’s not about the age of the writer, rather it is about the intensity the person possesses to know and feel life.

The presence of Forest is an admirable factor shared by all stories, reading the stories makes us feel a part of rain, animals, wind, birds, mountains, food; each and every aspect related to nature is so wonderfully played that the experience as a reader becomes immensely refreshing. The narration of the stories is such that it does not become a matter of only reading, but one can actually feel and see the world described.

The finesse with which the stories have been written is magnificent - to mention a few, I would like to start the first story itself ‘The Green Feather’ which presents the imagery of forest, food and the way sense of guilt is portrayed is par-excellence. ‘Whose Papers’ is a story that conveys a great moral; the masterly dialogues make it all the more picturesque. Sound of bustling leaves, eerie tale of ghosts and above all power of prayer is the strength of ‘A Shadow Behind Me’. The next story that captures our mind is ‘The Horse’s Feet’, which depicts haunting memories of childhood. Diving further into the book, we stumble upon of an unknown search ‘Blue Crystal’. ‘The Crow Story’ with the use of symbols unveils the reality of modern way of life, how it is affecting our lifestyle and the role music plays in our life. A marvelous story written in a unique technique, a few words sum up the issues of pollution and fast deteriorating Earth, inter-weaving world politics seamlessly into the story – ‘Doomsday Cometh’. ‘The Fable Of Barren Earth’ is a convincing futuristic story set in 2040 and revolves around a war for Water, elucidation of scarcity of water is indeed frightening. The story’s title ‘Alter Ego’ is in itself very intriguing, “everything had a dark side, even the mountains…” this line from the story from the young writer is thought provoking. ‘A Sister’s Secret’ is a great achievement for a student of class X, an account of drug addicts that ends on a note of resurrection is truly remarkable. A poem in prose comes as a sweet reading delight ‘A Walk By Nature’, the story is a bouquet of colors; colors of day. ‘The Chocolate Tale’ writes about school as ‘tight-chamber’ and forces us to reflect on our educational institutes. ‘The Floating Hills’ is full of symbolic references and compels the reader to feel the drops of rain and height of hills.

Not only the stories discussed hold a magnificence of their own but each and every story has a tale to tell. May the spark within each of the budding writers light up their lives and the reader’s.

Anthology of Young Authors published by WordSmith Publishers is a result of a series of Creative Writing Workshop held in the city schools of Guwahati through which the creative team led by Rupanjali Baruah with Associate Editor Syed Miraz Ahmmed, Creative Consultant Ronjon Dhar Baruah along with a host of resource persons from various genres poetry, fiction, art, film, book promoters conducted interactive sessions on composition, grammar, diction and all other aspects of creative writing. The 35 stories in the Anthology were meticulously chosen as a result of which we have this unique collection of stories emerging from the young authors of Assam. We look forward to more exclusive creative endeavors from Rupanjali Baruah and her creative team.