White Dancing Elephants by Chaya Bhuvaneswar

White Dancing Elephants

WINNER, DZANC BOOKS SHORT STORY COLLECTION PRIZEWINNER, NARRATIVE MAGAZINE "TOP FIVE STORIES OF THE WEEK" FOR 2017A woman grieves a miscarriage, haunted by the Buddha’s birth. An artist with schizophrenia tries to survive hatred and indifference in small-town India by turning to the beauty of sculpture and dance. Orphans in India get pulled into a strange “rescue” mission aimed at stripping their mysterious powers. A brief but intense affai...

Details White Dancing Elephants

TitleWhite Dancing Elephants
Release DateOct 9th, 2018
PublisherDzanc Books
GenreShort Stories, Fiction, Feminism, Cultural, India

Reviews White Dancing Elephants

  • Rene Denfeld
    The issues in these stories—exploitation, violence, abuse—are not the aberration in our world, but the norm for many, and I am thankful for how Bhuvanseswar approaches them. The women in these stories feel so real to me. The writing is gorgeous, the characters so human, the sense of magic palpable. Highly recommend.
  • Amelia
    WHITE DANCING ELEPHANTS is a searing and complex collection, wholly realized, each piece curled around its own beating heart. Tender and incisive, Chaya Bhuvaneswar is a surgeon on the page; unflinching in her aim, unwavering in her gaze, and absolutely devastating in her prose. This is an astonishing debut.
  • Lupita Reads
    Remarkable collection of stories with an incredible range of themes. Very well written and definitely leaves you asking for more. Some stories will have you turning the page as if you are reading a thriller while others will never leave you. Definitely a collection to read!
  • Lori
    A dark, mood-altering read from which I felt compelled to take mutiple breaks between stories, just to regain my mental equilibrium. In this way, Chaya perhaps does too good a job depicting the struggles of her many characters, nearly all of whom are diverse women of color. From rape to miscarriage to race and identity, her stories are intensely focused on the relationship between mother, daughter, child, lover. Upon reflection of the collection ...
  • Robby
    The word I keep thinking of as I try to write about my experience reading this book is "awe." I read each story in awe of Bhuvaneswar's flexibility and skill, her wit and compassion for her characters. One of my favorites in the collection (though all are worth reading) is "Talinda," a story about friendship, secrecy, desire, and death, though these words do not even begin to describe where this story goes. In less than 25 pages, Bhuvaneswar cove...
  • Bina
    Review posted originally on my blog WOCreads:https://wocreads.wordpress.com/2018/1...CW: Miscarriage, violence, rape, infidelityWhite Dancing Elephants is Chaya Bhuvaneswar’s powerful debut collection of short stories, which won the 2017 Dzanc Short Story Collection Prize. Collecting 17 stories, this volume puts women of color, especially South Asian women in the diaspora, at the center.These are stories about pivotal moments in women’s lives...
  • Rachel Watkins
    Bhuvaneswar's short stories beautifully share the lives of sixteen different women. WHITE DANCING ELEPHANTS explores issues of immigration, religion, and feminism, but what it does best it let you peer inside each woman's soul. This is a brilliant debut.
  • Gail (The Knight Reader)
    What a heavy, moving and deeply emotional read! I definitely underestimated it, being fooled by its "short stories" classification. But White Dancing Elephants is more than a book of short stories. It is the world as experienced by diverse people placed in all kinds of situations, some of which are quite difficult to get through and almost scarring to its reader. The stories had definite hard and grimy moments that caused me to shudder, but there...
  • Becky
    This one is hard to rate because all the stories are so brutal, many deal with sexual assault or other violence, issues of race, family identity, and failing or failed relationships. I usually couldn't read more than one or two before putting the slim volume down to catch my breath. Bhuvaneswar writes well and each story is completely immersive, which makes this collection all the more powerful and upsetting. If you like reading stories which wil...
  • Tanaya
    A new literary voice that demand to be heard. This book was to be read slowly, with many breaks. It was a difficult read due to the realness. the honestly. miscarriage, violence, rape, infidelity - things that women carry with them every day of their lives, so often silently. but written in a way that gives grounding and stability to the experiences. the first one shattered me and to be honest, i'm not sure if I felt the full impact of the rest o...
  • Elliott Turner
    3.5 stars! Really strong writing!Chaya writes from the South Asian/Indian American identity and also has stores set in England - the ideas of fetishism in romantic love, the unique problems of same sex attraction for this community, and death/loss are all important themes. The opening story is an amazing example of second person, and the last three stories are just fantastic writing.
  • Anna DePalo
    A bold debut by a not-to-be-missed author. This collection of short stories journeys through the intersections of race and gender to visit the gamut of human experience—from betrayal to violence to privilege—with a nuanced hand. Sometimes humorous and occasionally with a nod to pop culture, Chaya Bhuvaneswar’s lyrical prose rises to a crescendo of stunning insights. Pick this one up!
  • Emily Baer
    I’m so impressed by the range of stories in this collection. The author created whole little worlds in often only a few pages.
  • Caleb Michael Sarvis
    Will be reviewing the book in full on the Drunken Book Review Podcast.
  • David Harris
    This is a collection of seventeen excellent, eye opening stories, written with a sharp understanding of characters' background, motivation and self image (perhaps the author being a doctor helped here?)These stories often revolve around loss, abuse and identity and the range of stories in the volume means these themes are visited from different directions and through different eyes. There are missing parents, siblings, lost children and abuse as ...
  • Daniel Abbott
    White Dancing Elephants makes me think of a quote by the late David Foster Wallace: "Fiction's about what it is to be a $#%&ing human being." I love the quote and I'd even go a step further. Great fiction investigates what it means to be a human being. Chaya Bhuvaneswar does so brilliantly in her debut. There are no heroes or villains here, just humans, in all of our beauty, our flaws, our triumphs, and our failures. Chaya investigates the lives ...
  • Kyra
    I wanted to like this book, but ended up feeling pretty meh about it. The stories aren’t bad per se, and it’s obvious that Bhuvaneswar has talent, but her writing style didn’t connect with me…honestly, some of the stories were a slog to get through, and I ended up skimming several of them. I’d recommend reading “White Dancing Elephants,” “Talinda,” “A Shaker Chair,” “Orange Popsicles,” and “Newberry”; the rest are sk...
  • Shohinee
    This review was originally posted on https://trailsoftales620253622.wordpr...I was jolted wide awakeAnd I was mighty impressed.After reading one fantasy too many this year, Chaya Bhuvaneswar’s anthology of short stories gave me a dose of reality I didn’t know I needed.‘White Dancing Elephants’ tells you stories of all that makes us turn our faces the other way.Stories of dread, bitterness, jealousy, violence, loneliness, hopelessness, des...
  • Greg
    I very much enjoyed this beautiful collection of short stories, and have read a number of interviews and reviews to try to gain some insights into the themes linking the various stories. I just finished it on Audible and will be listening to it again now...In one of the interviews she did on her book tour, the author said the following:“And that’s what I believe is essential to fiction. That we have a way to make someone’s subjectivity imme...
  • Lisa
    This proves that author interviews do influence my reading. She was an articulate and thoughtful interviewee on the podcast Between the Covers so I picked up her collection of 17 short stories that I hadn’t heard of before the interview. These are beautifully written (some better than others) although the content is dark and sometimes disturbing. I suggest the reader make time because although it’s short, it is not an easy or breezy read. Dif...
  • -RadioactiveBookworm-
    "White Dancing Elephants" is a collection of short stories by author Chaya Bhuvaneswar, following all different kinds of people. Though it doesn't contain beginnings and ends, this is a book full of middles. You don't need to know everything about everyone, just enough to get the gist of the story before moving onto the next one in under twenty five pages each.Check out the rest of my review here!https://radioactivebookreviews.wordpr...
  • Christopher Castellani
    This is a fierce, unflinching, and surprising collection. In sculpted and precise prose, Bhuvaneswar delivers a gut punch with each story. There is an urgent, anxious heart beating throughout, as the characters dramatize and interrogate some of the most complexing and challenging interpersonal and political questions of the day.
  • Ann
    Thanks to Dancz Books for the complimentary copy.The writing is lovely. The stories are heavy almost crushing, but I kept wanting to read. She covers so many issues and circumstances. I am in awe.
  • Zish
    An incredible collection of stories. Curiously devastating and insightful.
  • Lydia Ship
    Thundering and heart-wrenching. A lush and beautiful book.
  • Rick
    More like a 3.5, with my favorite of the stories,"A Shaker Chair," a definite 4.
  • Lea Ludwig
    I never read short stories so this was a nice change of pace. I found it easier to commit to 17 pages at a time than a whole book. The stories were female centered and very personal. A good read.
  • Rebecca
    Effing amazing! Best short story collection of the year in my humble opinion.
  • Michu Benaim
    Lyrical and dark.