Out of Print is an online magazine hailing from India that publishes short fiction in English or translated to English with a preference for literature that reflects the subcontinent.
G. Sadasiv reimagines the end of Guy de Maupassant’s famous short story “The Necklace,” or, rather, he continues the story for one more final twist. The piece starts as a brief retelling of the original story over the phone and then delves into the continuation of the story as one character imagines it, starting with Mathilde regaining the expensive necklace she had returned.
In Shrilal Shukla’s “Among the Hunters,” translated from Hindi by Daisy Rockwell, the narrator, Yogeshwar, the Major, and the Doctor head through the jungle in a jeep on a great animal hunt, all with a glass of cheap rum in hand, including the driver—the narrator. After a first failed attempt with a herd of sambar, the second time the guns are shot, “It seemed [they] might all have fallen prey to some terrible tragedy.” I’ll let your imagination run from there, but I’ll tell you right now, it certainly is a tragedy on many accounts.
A trip to the Taj Mahal results in exiting Agra without a glimpse of it in Jave Ahmed Malik’s piece. But as the two characters have not seen each other in so long, the narrator explains, “his company was more important than sightseeing.” It touches on the nature of the bureaucracy there because even as the narrator is legally allowed to be there, the police warn him to leave.
Three more pieces—an excerpt from Mahesh Rao’s The Smoke is Rising, R. K. Biswas’s “Word Among Poets” which is told from the point of view of a verb, and Rheea Mukherjee’s “Rectification Still”—fill out the rest of this issue. Out of Print is enjoyable and certainly an interesting read for writing relating to the Indian subcontinent.