Dreams collide with reality, modernity with antiquity, and myth with identity in the twelve arresting stories of A House Is a Body. In “Earthly Pleasures,” a young painter living alone in San Francisco begins a secret romance with one of India’s biggest celebrities, and desire and ego are laid bare. In “A Simple Composition,” a husband’s professional crisis leads to his wife’s discovery of a dark, ecstatic joy. And in the title story, an exhausted mother watches, hypnotized by fear, as a California wildfire approaches her home. Immersive and assured, provocative and probing, these are stories written with the edge and precision of a knife blade. Set in the United States and India, they reveal small but intense moments of beauty, pain, and power that contain the world.
A House Is a Body introduces a bold and original voice in fiction, from a writer at the start of a stellar career.
The winner of two O. Henry Awards, Shruti Swamy‘s work has appeared in The Paris Review, McSweeney’s, Prairie Schooner, and elsewhere. In 2012, she was Vassar College’s 50th W.K. Rose Fellow, and has been awarded residencies at the Millay Colony for the Arts, Blue Mountain Center, and Hedgebrook. She is a Kundiman fiction fellow, a 2017 – 2018 Steinbeck Fellow at San Jose State University, and a recipient of a 2018 grant from the Elizabeth George Foundation. She lives in San Francisco.
Read: A House is a Body, Paris Review
Review: A House is a Body, Asian Review of Books
Prompt: Choose a piece of fruit. Now think of this fruit as a living thing and imagine it going about its day. Begin by describing the fruit and then write freely for 10 minutes.