Publisher: Speaking Tiger Books
A Full Night’s Thievery is an anthology of 13 short stories penned by Mitra Phukan. The author tries to paint a picture of contemporary Assamese society by weaving in some of the most pertinent issues of the State like militancy, witchcraft and superstition.
Phukan herself is a trained classical vocalist and some of her stories in the book have a background in music. The use of music in stories like The Choice, Ekalavya, The Tabla Player and Homecoming gives a very unique flavour to the stories which music lovers will be able to savour. The Choice which is the opening story of the book is also one of the best as the surreal setting heightens its impact. Some of the stories like The Journey, Jogeshwari and The Revenge of Annapurna are poignant like most stories in the book but also shake you up with their intense aura of sadness.
A Full Night’s Thievery, the title story of the book however offers a light narrative about a mistimed adventure of a thief. Phukan also gives a delicate account of small town Rupohi in the era when India had just attained independence from the British. The Rings is another nice light-hearted story and it would have been nice had there been more stories of this kind in the book.
Words: Nabarun Guha
This review was published in Eclectic Northeast December 2016 issue