© 2019 by Murali Kamma. All rights reserved. 

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"From the first paragraph, the very first sentence, Murali Kamma had me engrossed and engaged in the narrative, and my interest did not diminish until I got to end of the book, twenty stories in all, to its very last sentence. Understated and unpretentious, this remarkable debut collection does not attempt to shock or surprise by 'gross and violent stimulants,' but relies on depicting plainly the life and situations that ordinary people face in their lives, and so it reaches out in ways that are likely to have a deeper and more lasting effect on readers than mere sensationalized subject or a dazzling surface experimentation with words and styles are likely to do. It catches people in the flow of their lives, as thinking, feeling, quietly struggling persons, dealing with life’s constraints, conventions, and demands and to find for themselves the space and opportunity to gain just that bit of illumination, momentary though it may be, that may make sense of all the endeavor and aspiration that marks a human’s trajectory on earth—the negotiating of familial relationships, the displacements in and of cultures and locales, the accidental encounters, the charting of a path, itself somewhat casual and fortuitous, toward a transient gleam of the self, of goodness and courtesy, before moving along on the journey. There is sorrow here, and pain, unslaked longing, crises of faith, socially conditioned prejudice and obligation, and the small, quiet ways in which all this is dealt with, steadily opposed, and checked without fuss, not, though, without the recognition of the more strident struggles and protests in the background. And the stories eschew the conclusive, neatly tied endings, working more through suggestion and the opening up of possibility than by imposing a (forced) denouement. Rich, silted streams and currents from the vast river that is life, Not Native is a book to treasure for its deep wisdom and exquisite feeling in their ripple, swirl, and flow."

Waqas Khwaja, Ellen Douglass Leyburn Professor of English, Agnes Scott College, Atlanta, author of Hold Your Breath and No One Waits for the Train