The One Who Wrote Destiny

by Nikesh Shukla

At first glance, this seemed something of a bleak prospect - a story about a dysfunctional family with faulty genes. The distinct voices of each character combine to weave a rich tapestry, with motifs of heredity, destiny and loss. Scenes of racial abuse are brutally depicted but are alleviated with flashes of wry comedy. Though initially I struggled to get to grips with the narrative, it wasn't long before I was completely won over.


It is a cruel realization, as I watch them both sleeping, that I am not ready for him. I am not ready for my destiny. All this time I have been static and waiting, and now it is undone by these two children. When they came into my life, I wanted nothing more than for them to be gone. But they are here, for a few more days, and I want that time with them. I want them to know me and our family, and this country. This country that is so significant to our history. I have been waiting for him for so long, and now he has come for me, I don't feel ready. I do not feel ready.


The Friendly Ones by Philip Hensher

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