The Middleman and Other Stories

The Middleman and Other Stories Bharati Mukherjee s work illuminates a new world of people in migration that has transformed the meaning of America Now in a Grove paperback edition The Middleman and Other Stories is a dazzling disp

  • Title: The Middleman and Other Stories
  • Author: Bharati Mukherjee
  • ISBN: 9780802136503
  • Page: 499
  • Format: Paperback
  • Bharati Mukherjee s work illuminates a new world of people in migration that has transformed the meaning of America Now in a Grove paperback edition, The Middleman and Other Stories is a dazzling display of the vision of this important modern writer An aristocratic Filipina negotiates a new life for herself with an Atlanta investment banker A Vietnam vet returns to FlBharati Mukherjee s work illuminates a new world of people in migration that has transformed the meaning of America Now in a Grove paperback edition, The Middleman and Other Stories is a dazzling display of the vision of this important modern writer An aristocratic Filipina negotiates a new life for herself with an Atlanta investment banker A Vietnam vet returns to Florida, a place now foreign than the Asia of his war experience And in the title story, an Iraqi Jew whose travels have ended in Queens suddenly finds himself an unwitting guerrilla in a South American jungle Passionate, comic, violent, and tender, these stories draw us into the center of a cultural fusion in the midst of its birth pangs, yet glowing with the energy and exuberance of a society remaking itself.

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    1 thought on “The Middleman and Other Stories”

    1. Mukherjee isn't one of those self-congratulatory assholes who thinks she's bucking political correctness (whatever the fuck that means) by hating on Indians (and everybody else), but a real thinker who wants immigrant, encounter, and postcolonial lit to exist beyond the binaries of white/nonwhite, good/evil, and, especially, nice/not-nice. Her characters are NOT NICE. For any writer to do that, with immigrant characters or not, while still keeping alive some sense of human dignity and struggle a [...]

    2. Something about this book isn't quite clicking with me. Maybe the premise, not that I don't enjoy stories about the immigrant experience, but this book at this time just isn't working for me.I know I never abandon books. If I do I delete them from my lists and try not to think of them. But for this one, I feel I should just go back to it some other time. Maybe then I will be able to see what I can't see now.The first few stories I read didn't quite stand out except forA Wife's Storywhich I find [...]

    3. This collection, from the mid-80s pulls together a dozen stories of people in the middle. All are caught in some type of struggle -- from a grieving widow struggling to move on to a man being sucked into a drug deal -- the voices vary, but the stories are well done.

    4. After reading The Middleman and Other Stories twice, I have decided that I wouldn't want to be a character in a Bharati Mukherjee story.Alfie, an Iraqi Jew who ends up in El Salvador by way of Queens, lusts after Maria in the title story. Maria was once with President Gutierrez but is now married to a wealthy rancher and businessman. Her current sexual allegiances lie with a revolutionary. Will Al get the girl?Well, Al gets the girl, for one night. Then he watches as she murders her husband and [...]

    5. A jarring and beautifully poignant collection of short stories about immigrants, their tragedies and triumphs in leaving and arriving, The Middleman present a touching variety of voices and perspectives.

    6. Fantastic story-telling about complex, believable people. Guaranteed: you've run into each of her protagonists and other characters.

    7. Bhurati writes with such richness. Her characters are all deeply flawed and or troubled. She is skilled. She is outlandish in her imagination. I love her complexity in describing life.

    8. Mukherjee died recently and I hadn't read her yet, so I started with this story collection. Great writing, the kind you can't tell the author struggled over, it just blows along airily, easy as pie. I live in Atlanta, so I liked this description of our rain: "the raindrops are of the big, splashy variety, complete with whiffs of wild winds and churned seas". I've often noticed that though we are 250 miles from the ocean, it's not unusual to smell ocean in the rain here. Together with the unaffec [...]

    9. This collection stands for everything good about the short story form - the microscopic view of an individual's transformation (or stasis) in a crystallized moment in a gritty, Cheeverian* world. I definitely will read more by Bharati Mukherjee. The common thread is immigration, from different parts of the world, to different parts of the world (but largely to the USA and Canada). Mukherjee takes us through initial journey, homesickness and culture shock, youth, aging, fitting in, earning a livi [...]

    10. I knew there had to be a reason she liked the creepy stuff I workshopped in her undergrad writing class, and I guess I now know the answer. Sex and sexuality oozes out of every single one of these stories, not peripherally, but totally centrally. Fucking is the major point of most of these stories and it's almost the major point of all but one. I know I read a novel or collection of hers years ago, at the time, but it wasn't this one because my world would have been turned upside down. She's sha [...]

    11. Most of the characters in Bharati Mukherjee's The Middleman and Other Stories are displaced, foreign born people living in America. They feel odd, out of touch with the world in which they live, yet out of touch with the world from which they came. I can easily see why Mukherjee won the National Book Critics Circle Award for these stories. Highly recommended.

    12. America is a nation of immigrants. It's easy to forget that the immigrants of a century ago were just as marginalized and, by definition, foreign as the immigrants of today. These stories are primarily about Indians, Arabs, East Indians, and the Americans they relate to. This book gave me a real appreciation for the humanity of an educated man from Afghanistan trying to make it in New York, or an Indian family trying to run a motel in Florida. Bharati's language is beautiful and spare. Her scena [...]

    13. The only two stories that stood out to me were "A Wife's Story" and "The Management of Grief," the latter of which might be one of my favorite stories of all time. The rest is rather middle-of-the-road, with beautiful turns of phrases here and everywhere, but characters with too many loose ends to really feel anything other than indifference for.

    14. This is supposed to be the lighter of two collections about immigrants by the author. Most of the stories were pretty sordid and not reflective of the immigrants I work with every week. I did like two stories: "Orbiting" about a family dinner on Thanksgiving and the last story called "The Manaagement of Grief."

    15. Though interesting and well-written, the author's project — to present an image of the "worthy" immigrant, wealthy and educated — is a classist one. Additionally, by wholeheartedly investing in the classist, racist, settler-colonial US American hegemonic project, the book ultimately fails to challenge the structures that uphold the very stereotypes the author seeks to do away with.

    16. Unforgiving, scintillating, though the first few stories didn't hold a draw. "No folly is ever lost. She pictures history as a net, the kind of safety net travelling trapeze artists of her childhood fell into when they were inattentive, or clumsy."

    17. I've given all of Mukherjee's books 5 stars, and this one's the best! Such a diversity of voices, plots, and literary techniques all crammed into a pretty small space. I almost wish that I heard this range of voice in her other work also!

    18. I should never read a book of short stories on my Kindle because I tend to want to read them out of order. It took awhile but I finally got the idea and yes ,liked the book. A bit of turbulence did not help!

    19. She gets better and better the more I read. The characters may be from a land unfamiliar; their emotions are not. I have ordered her novel "Jasmine", from one of the short stories in this collection. I cannot wait to read it. Highly recommended.

    20. As an immigrant, some or all of the struggles and complications in these stories are some of my worst nightmares and memories. Selfishly, I wish more of the stories were grounded more in my own reality, and not, say, the one of an arms dealer in Africa.Book dish: chop suey

    21. A lot of these stories are really interesting from the perspective of post-colonial studies. As an immigrant myself I found it really interesting to see how Mukherjee explored the different aspects of that experience, and with a sense of humor too. I particularly recommend 'Orbiting'.

    22. This collection is unsettling, the disturbing experiences of people torn away from culture. My favorite story is "Orbiting;" the clashes at a Thanksgiving dinner where everyone, in a sense, comes from their own "culture of pain." Won the National Book Circle Critics Award in 1988.

    23. As with most short story collections, some are great, some are good, and some are so-so. But the good ones are really quite good, and make the whole thing worth reading.

    24. I liked these stories with different perspectives on immigrants, the immigrant experience, etc but most weren't very memorable.

    25. Short stories often lose me by the end and these did, but they were very good. The book starts very strong with The Middleman. An excellent effort at capturing the edgy lives of immigrants.

    26. we read 6 of the stories in class and the others I read by myself. I liked most of the stories, but Mukherjee has a very individual style.

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