Tokyo Cancelled

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 05 March, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 05 March, 2006, 12:00am
 

Tokyo Cancelled


by Rana Dasgupta


Harper Perennial, $112


Tokyo Cancelled is a compilation of tales - one from each of 13 passengers passing the time when their plane, destined for Japan, is forced to land in the middle of nowhere to sit out a snowstorm. 'The action ... happens in a single night, but through that single night I wanted to access a global geography,' Rana Dasgupta has said of his book, which has been compared to the Arabian Nights. That explanation in no way prepares readers for the strange tales, set in cities all around the world. The Tailor, for example, is about long-suffering Ibrahim, who spends years creating a silk robe for a flighty prince who forgets the order. Then there's The Store on Madison Avenue, in which the love child of Robert De Niro and a Chinese laundromat owner falls in love with the daughter of Isabella Rossellini and Martin Scorsese. To make things more surreal, the girl works as a mermaid at an aquarium. Dasgupta has waved his magic wand over one good idea and created a globalised world of fantasy.


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