Theroux’s world is delineated once again in these
tales, whose settings and moods vary from the exotic
to the familiar. The title story, set in India, is a
wry commentary on the manners and morals of an
arranged marriage. “A Love Knot,” about a young
student from Calcutta living in Boston, suggests the
infinite possibility of coincidence in human
relationships. Other stories take place in Asia,
Africa, eastern Europe, and Russia -- parts of the
world where Theroux has lived and traveled.
Although distinguished by such diversity, the
stories are bound together by a single thread -- the
author’s tragicomic vision of the world. This
vision, together with Theroux’s intelligence and
ironic wit, enables him through his craft to
transform situations into art.