Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

"Law and Order" by Sushma Joshi (2008) A Short Story by an Award Winning Author from Nepal

Three years ago I read five short stories by a leading writer from Nepal, Sushma Joshi and posted on a very good short story set in Nepal, "The End of the World".  Being very saddened by the terrible earthquake centered in Katmandu I decided to read another story by Joshi and share it with my readers.  Incidentally this morning I tried to tune in digital broadcasts of several major Katmandu radio stations to get local news and for background music and none were currently streaming.

"Law and Order" is set in a small regional capital in Nepal.  Bisho has just gone through the terribly physically straining application to become a Gurka in The British Army.  If you join at twenty you can retire at forty and be a very big man in your home village, the prestige is immense.  There are thousands of applications and only three hundred positions.  Bushi is doing well until he has to ride a horse, something he has never done.  He ends up being dragged by the horse for several hundred meters and loses some teeth.  Of course he is rejected.   Back home he does get a pretty decent job, a police recruit.  The catch with this is the recruits are housed in a jail and not given enough food so they must struggle just to survive.  Of course young men like to indulge in braggadocio about women and there is a very funny well done scene where the recruits compare a young girl to vegetables they love to eat.

"Law and Order" is a very good short story.  It can be read in New Nepal, New Voices edited by Sushma Joshi and Ajit Baral, 2008.

Official Bio


Sushma Joshi (born May 26, 1973) is a Nepali writer and filmmaker based in Kathmandu, Nepal. 

The End of the World, her book of short stories, was long-listed for the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award in 2009. Art Matters, a book of essays about contemporary art, was supported by the Alliance Francaise De Katmandou. 

Joshi contributed a widely read Sunday column The Global and the Local to Nepal's leading English daily newspaper The Kathmandu Post from 2008-2011. Inspired by Nepali history and contemporary politics, her non-fiction and reportage deal with issues of social change, environment and gender.

Sound of Silence (1997) her first documentary, was screened at the New Asian Currents at the Yamagata Documentary Film Festival. Water (2000) was screened on the Q and A with Riz Khan on CNN International, and the UN World Water Forum in Kyoto. The Escape (2006), a short about a teacher targeted by rebels, was accepted to the Berlinale Talent Campus. Her films have also screened at Flickerfest Film Festival, Sydney; Vancouver Nepali Film Festival; Himalayan Film Festival in London and others.

Education and Influences 
Joshi was born and grew up in Kathmandu. From age 8 to 12, she studied in Dowhill School, Kurseong, in the district of Darjeeling. These formative years in a school started by British missionaries instilled a passion for literature and writing. She finished her education at Mahendra Bhawan and Siddhartha Vanasthali High School in Kathmandu.

Joshi graduated from Brown University in 1996 with a BA in international relations. At Brown, she studied liberal arts and took workshops in fiction, autobiography, and poetry. She also took classes in documentary production with artist Tony Cokes. 

From 1999-2002, she was in graduate school at the New School of Social Research in New York, where she received an MA in anthropology. During the summers, she attended The Breadloaf School of English at Middlebury College, Vermont, and received another MA in English Literature in 2005. At Bread Loaf, she studied playwriting with Obie prize winning playwright Dare Clubb, as well as theatre directing and acting with Alan and Carol MacVey.

Joshi received a waiter fellowship to attend the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference in 2000. In 2005, she received a research and writing fellowship from the MacArthur Foundation. She was awarded a residency at the Bellagio Center, sponsored by the Rockefeller Foundation, in Bellagio, Italy, in 2006. Joshi was a featured writer at the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival in 2009. In 2011, she was an Asia fellow and traveled to Thailand and Burma to do research on a book about Nepali migrants, with support from the Asian Scholarship Foundation. 

Joshi was a jury member of the Indigenous Film Festival in Nepal in 2009. She was also a member of a three-judge panel for the film competition on global warming sponsored by British Council/DFID in Kathmandu in 2010. 

In 2004, Joshi had a solo exhibit of her paintings at Gallery Nine. The exhibit featured 26 paintings depicting figurative paintings about the state of Nepal during the civil conflict. 

Joshi's multimedia installation titled "Jumla: A cyberphoto installation" was accepted to the Eighth International Symposium of Electronic Art (ISEA) at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1997.

Mel u

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