India Vik


ISBN: 0-9750228-2-2 Format: Trade Paperback 272pp Rights: World Release / Publication Date: 01 /07 /2006


“Unlike many who write of India, Liz Gallois is not interested in nostalgia, even if some of her characters suffer from that condition. The India she offers us in India Vik speaks in many voices, is acutely observed and deeply felt. This highly evocative collection of interlinked stories is a wonderful introduction to the work of a new writer and the unexpected worlds that await the modern traveller.”
– Sophie Cunningham, author of Geography.

Travel to India and be changed forever.

Delicately spiced with humour this is an intriguing work of fiction, by an exciting new talent, where sexuality, loss and yearning are always simmering just beneath the surface.

From Chennai to Sydney Liz Gallois captures both Indians and Westerners in new and unexpected guises, their relationships teetering on the edge, or caught at odds by the allure and the chaos of the subcontinent.

In moments of tenderness or lust Jill croons, ‘Davood, my little toy boy.’ He likes her cool touch on his cheek, smoothing the soft down. He shaves, but so far the desired bristles refuse to sprout.

Liz Gallois is a fiction writer and sessional worker for the Mental Health Review Board who lives in Melbourne, Australia. Her work has been published in Australian literary magazines and was an Age Short Story competition winner in 2004. She has lived in France but has had a longer relationship with India that started with reading E M Forster’s A Passage to India. She has made many visits to India and hopes soon to settle for some months or years in the seaside city of Pondicherry in Tamil Nadu.

Good short stories are completed in one sitting, yet open up characters, insights and places that entertain and enrich us. Gallois’s collection does this … at her best she is breath-catching. If this engaging collection does not send more Aussies to the subcontinent, very little else will.

Barbara Baker, Courier Mail.

This collection of stories is a stylish debut. Gallois writes with clever economy, giving the reader brisk lessons in culture, history and social anomalies, rarely stalling her narrative in the process … The two strongest pieces – The Colour of Coral and Fatherland – are all about yearning, the former for forbidden love, the latter for an unknown father.

Susan Kurosawa, The Australian.

The most successful stories are those of muted disappointment: ‘The Colour of Coral’, narrated by an elderly Australian who attempts to reach across the cultural divide between herself and her Indian friend, or ‘Box Wallah’, in which a once-respected gentleman suffers deep humiliation after the departure of the British. Gallois is an acute observer and writes in a clean accessible prose … She draws her characters swiftly and efficiently and their stories are told without authorial judgement. An enjoyable collection.

Caroline Lurie, Good Reading.

Her stories are little gems.

Indian Link.

There is a refreshing lack of sentimentality and stereotypes in Gallois’s stories. An individual and confident voice, she often challenges assumptions, sometimes distorting the lens through which the West views ‘India’.

Kabita Dhara, Australian Book Review.