Anita Desai (1933) has been short listed for the Booker Prize three times. "Sale" is my first happy exposure to,her work and I certainly hope it will not be my last.
"Sale" is set in the home and functioning studio of an artist, a painter of amazing works. He lives with his wife. The paintings are scattered all over the house. The house is in chaos, near to filthy, with cigarette butts on top of paintings. One day a couple comes to look at his work. They are impressed by his paintings but do not see what they want or maybe they are just feigning interest to be polite. They tell him they were looking for a large landscape. You can sense the desperation of the artist to make a sale. He offers to paint them at once any kind of work they want. You can feel the sadness when his wife asked him if he thinks they will come back another time to make a purchase.
I read this very well done story in this first rate anthology