I think it is a major feat when a writer can compress an important message within a few pages of a short story. And Sujit has that ability- that rare talent to package a deep meaning within a short piece in an engaging manner. Short stories require a very careful development of plot and character. Incomplete character sketches or half-baked plots can prove off-putting.
But Banerjee's prose and skill has that rare quality of being able to say a lot in a few words. 26 stories based on the 26 alphabets of English. The writer covers everything- unrequited love, dementia in old age, unfulfilled longings, words left unsaid, feelings left unexpressed, depression caused by miscarriage, sexual abuse and incest, homosexuality, love and hate, how we humans being hurt each other, words and actions that rankle for years. The stories range from sad to dark to reflective, but each one packs a solid punch.
The editing could have been better, but to the writer's credit, the typos are minor and in no way takes away from the eloquence of the prose.
Fair warning, this is not for those who like mushy romance and 'light' frivolous stories with no redeeming values. These stories are deep and often dark, sometimes depressing. But the message is beautiful, and so is the close observation of human nature.
I think more writers should debut with short stories. It helps develop both writing skills and the craft of storytelling.
Go buy this book and read a piece of promising new writing.
This book is available here: Rukhsat The Departure