Cover Image: A House Is a Body

A House Is a Body

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Member Reviews

A House is a Body is a beautiful collection of short stories alternating between America and India. The stories truly encapsulate the human experience, depicting raw human emotion, the thoughts we don't want to speak aloud. I felt my heartbeat racing with stories like A House is a Body, simultaneously angry at, and empathetic for the protagonist. The order of the stories flowed well, some endings abrupt, but appropriate. This examination into the human condition is a beautiful collection of stories I plan to revisit.
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I had a hard time getting into any of these stories, though Swamy does have some really wonderful sentences.
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Discussed on Episode 110 of the Book Cougars podcast

https://www.bookcougars.com/blog-1/2020/episode110
https://www.bookcougars.com
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Interesting book that I struggled to get into. The authors writing makes you think. It probably not the best book for me but I plan to pass it along to see if it works for the next person.
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As a general rule, I do not read short stories, and therefore, I struggled with my rating for A HOUSE IS A BODY. I absolutely want to commend Swamy for her beautiful style of writing, and I enjoyed the overall themes of love and motherhood. My favorite story was The Siege.

I personally felt that many of the stories ended abruptly (almost as if they ended in the middle), leaving me feeling mildly dissatisfied as I transitioned to the next. Furthermore, the highly literary and allegorical nature of Swamy's prose caused me to feel unsure of what I had just read. I saw a review with beautiful interpretations of each story, which I referenced after finishing for illumination. I’m glad I branched out, but I wouldn’t recommend this one to anyone unless they have a penchant for short stories that require contemplative thought for interpretation. Thank you to Algonquin Books for the complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.
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Beautifully written collection, Swamy sinks the reader to the center of the human soul and brings us back again. 
A collection of twelve stories that touch on themes like family, parenthood, and love. 
Swamy's prose is unique and stylized, giving off this surreal, dreamy quality that worked excellently. Definitely an emerging author I will be keeping my sights on.
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Very interesting yet strange stories. The leave you feeling confused. Unsure whether you got it or not. ButI did enjoy them nevertheless.
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This novel has 12 short stories that take place in the US & India about loss, friendship and love. These stories were very complicated and had a lot of hard-hitting topics. Shruti Swamy wrote this topics well, but I’m not sure that I felt “connected” to any specific story. They haven’t sat with me very long as I am having a hard time recollecting a specific title or premise.

The writing style was very different. These stories were written very choppy. I do recognize that these are short stories, but I wish that they flowed a little better. It was like there was something missing, a slight detail or extra blurb, that would’ve made these stories be exquisite.

Overall, I think that these were written really well, just definitely not for me. I think this was a case of “it’s not you, it’s me.” I didn’t feel connected to the stories or characters and I’m wondering if I’m missing something or if it was just part of the story.
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Being an anthology of some memorable stories, I enjoyed this book. Written perfectly, with clever mix of romance, suspense, mystery, fear and grief, every story shines brightly on its own, without needing support from other stories. What I loved about the book is the simplicity used to describe emotions of the subjects and the simple, yet a bit tough prose used. The author pens down emotions of every single character excellently, irrespective of the role in the story.

No matter what, the story stories keep the readers on the edge of their seats with their gripping, yet simple plotting. Shuffling between US and India, the stories are a reflection of collision of dreams with reality, and modernity with antiquity, and this makes the book more enjoyable and memorable.

The stories have various themes mixed expertly, adding the seriousness and moral clarity of the characters make this book a perfect read for readers. What’s more, a story even has two women in love (sapphic relationship 🌈) – and this makes the book more amazing to read. Where the book looks a bit disturbing to the mind are the themes of sexual assault, cruelty with animals, depression, solitude. Yet, the disturbing elements of the book don’t spoil the shine of the book, instead these elements give another perspective and character to the book. 

The stories are written so intricately, one tends to get carried away in the book. And the simplicity of the various themes makes this book an interesting & enjoyable read. The author has done an incredible job in blending simplicity, suspense and varied themes. As far as the emotional connection with the stories and characters is concerned, I connected with the characters on many aspects. Somewhere, I found myself looking as similar as some of them. 

The book had no grammatical mistakes whatsoever, and the lucid writing and simple word usage makes it a smooth read for the reader. I really enjoyed the stories and loved the collision of modernity and antiquity. I enjoyed the subtle darkness the stories showed and the slow & effective actions of the characters. To be honest, I wished the book had more stories in it, for it was so amazing. Definitely recommended for a short, yet memorable reading!  I must say, you can’t miss this book at all, for you’ll miss a roller coaster ride of emotions and suspense!
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Let me preface this review by saying I LOVE short stories. I love collections of them. These were short stories that I didn't enjoy. They were very short, undeveloped stories. Maybe I'm more picky because I read a lot of them? Maybe I'm being too critical? They just did nothing for me. I don't know why they were so many sexual episodes in them as well. Wonderful writing in some places, more descriptive, but little if any character development.
Thank you to Algonquin Books and NetGalley for an advanced copy of this book for an honest review.
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Beautifully done, a vital addition to any library collection. I've included it on reading lists for patrons to great success
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“I had thought the grief would make me brave against the rest of my fears: if the worst had come, there was nothing left to dread.” ⁣
⁣⁣⁣
A merge of feminism & culture. Dark & alluring, yet beautifully powerful. I recommend this highly addictive read.
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This is a fantastic debut collection. I loved the way Swamy played with storytelling and focused in on small everyday moments in the midst of larger, painful life experiences and traumas. The narrowing in to bring life to how pain transmutes in the day to day is really powerful. Looking forward to more from Swamy.
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The title of this collection is a hint, but these stories are really physical; emotions are made new by focusing on the bodily sensations instead of the old cliches. A man and woman find brief solace from grief by becoming intimate. An artist, desperate to find something more meaningful, feels most inspired when she’s the perfect amount of drunk or when she’s staring at Krishna, his skin varied shades of blue. A burgeoning relationship: they experience love for the first time in the way they look at each other while dancing but realize, at a family wedding, what will never be theirs. This book appeals to all the senses, smells and sounds most palpable, and the prose carries you effortlessly from one story to the next. It was such a pleasure to dive into a story collection after having read so many novels lately. I definitely recommend this one.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my copy.
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Swamy is so skilled at characterization, we learn about the intimate feelings and relationships with each narrator of the stories. There was also an elusiveness to her writing that made my progress through this collection slower than I anticipated. I would suggest this for readers who enjoy fiction that moves slower, that dives deeper, that asks questions. One example is when she writes in Earthly Pleasures, “ your mouth, your lungs, your belly, with the evil and beauty of its absence. I have never met a person who has been able to bear the weight like I have. At least, nobody who could bear my weight, my silence.” Beautiful language, challenging our preconceptions of people.
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Thank you NetGalley and Algonquin for ARCs in exchange for an honest review. 

<i> A House Is a Body <i/> is a dazzling debut of short stories from Shruti Swamy. This short story collection takes locations ranging from India to the United States and the descriptions brought me right into each story. 

Each of these stories were previously published in journals and the combination of stories is perfect. Each are follow different characters, but also seem to be connected by small parts of each story if only from the use of descriptive language.

If you enjoy short stories, I highly recommend this collection to you. Great debut, Shruti!
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I usually love reading short stories, and I mostly enjoyed this collection. Each story is unique in its time, place, and space, but all have drawn me in with the beautiful, melancholy writing. However, I felt like a lot of the stories were almost unnecessarily dramatic, or maybe unfinished? I wanted to like the collection a lot more than I did.
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This book is great! Would definitely recommend. Thanks so much to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.
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I enjoyed this short story collection enough. It deals with themes of family, parenting, and love.

As is always the case, some stories worked better for me than others. It's a common problem I have with short story collections - sometimes they're impactful and important, but other times it just feels like there wasn't enough space to really create a cohesive plot.

I appreciated how the author implanted pieces of Indian culture into her stories. I loved that particular element of the book overall.
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A house is a body is a short stories collection and it's only thing I wanted to know and the stories. The main themes are mental health, family and loss; and overall it's just a really solid book there was some parts of the stories that felt really weak and I don't know if that's just me being new to this fiction short stories but I did enjoy it enough I do plan on looking into more of the author writing.
This was a really dark book, if you need warnings I would look into warnings before reading this book there is a lot going on in each short story but I don't feel like it was over the top or pushy or being dramatic just to be dramatic I do feel like the things that the author wrote about did and do affect the characters and was needed to be part of the stories for the characters. 

Like any short story collection there was stories in here that I did like more than other stories. One of the shorts right I did enjoy a nice one is it one called Linus it's about woman who is dealing with depression after her husband my forever second husband dies and I just like how the author wrote it felt real. I also enjoyed night garden and the laughter artist were to others I really enjoyed.  


I do feel that this book will be talked about and I do feel that it is one that should be talked about I did find that it went by really fast before I could take everything in it was done with and that was the end of the book I just feel like maybe I need to read it again to get even more from these pages.
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