Shaukat Ajmeri logoShaukat Ajmeri

Keepers of the Faith - Novel

Open Season: Stories

In sparkling, clear prose, understated yet unflinching, Open Season probes deep into the fissures of caste, class, religion, and gender in our world. Located mostly in small-town India, the stories speak of a world familiar and yet all too elusive, of a gentler, mellower, more hopeful time; they explore the charms and constraints of life in a small town.

The stories give the reader glimpses of ordinary people struggling and celebrating the successes of day-to-day living. Although a sense of despair permeates the lives of characters caught in the oppressive dynamic of poverty and bigotry, they never give up hope.

With a mix of serious and light topics, there is much in the stories one can relate to, and Shaukat tells them with his unique style, perspective, and humour.

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Endorsements

In sparkling, clear prose, understated yet unflinching, Open Season probes deep into the fissures of caste, class, religion, and gender in our world. With references that range from the classical poets Ghalib, Meer, and Rumi to Hardy Boys, Dickens, and Shakespeare, Open Season, like many Canadian diasporic writings, expands the boundaries of Canadian literature, tearing down the high fences to let the new realities of the globalized world in.

— Arun Prabha Mukherjee, Professor Emerita, York University

Intensely atmospheric, Shaukat Ajmeri’s stories transport you easily to times and places. You hear the voice of each character speaking, while the words evoke the setting in your mind. These are stories that take us to places which might otherwise be inaccessible.

—Tehmina Khan, author of Things She Could Never Have

"The day my school principal caned me, because my hair was not cut short enough, my grandmother died." The moment you read this sentence you know that you are in the company of a genuine fiction writer. The stories of Shaukat Ajmeri are endearing in their simplicity, and for their love of life and people. They make you aware that it is our relationships which give us our humanity.

—Apoorvanand, Professor, Hindi Department, University of Delhi

Open Season secures Ajmeri’s importance in the firmament of diaspora writing, as a straightforward but powerful storyteller, who has inherited O Henry’s love for the telling twist, but who situates his narratives in multitudes of contexts and perspectives befitting the complexity of his motherland.

—Kiran Bhat, author of We of the Forsaken World