The Mendonҫa Mystery and Other Stories
Author: Michael Chacko Daniels
Illustrators: Krittika Ramanujan and Aaron Bass
Year of Publication: 2014
Price: Rs 400 / $25
About the Author:
Michael Chacko Daniels is a former community worker and clown who grew up in Mumbai. Writers Workshop, India, has published four of his books: Split in Two (poetry, 2004), Anything Out of Place Is Dirt (novel, 2004), That Damn Romantic Fool (novel, 2005) and Morning in Santiniketan (haiku, 2010). He worked as a publisher and editor for several years with the New River Free Press of Grand Rapids, Michigan, and as an assistant editor with The Asia Foundation, San Francisco. As a community worker, he has been actively involved in a variety of areas including the Jobs for Homeless Consortium of Alameda County which he helped establish in 1988.Daniels is an alumnus of St. Michael’s High School, Wilson College, University of Bombay (Department of Economics) and Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. He is based in San Francisco.
About the Illustrators:
Aaron Bass is a studio artist who primarily works in printmaking media. He studied printmaking at the California College of Arts and Crafts, Tyler School of Art and Tamarind Institute and has an MFA from the University of New Mexico. At present, he lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, with his wife Krittika Ramanujan, son Simon and assorted quadrupeds. He teaches at the Studio Arts department at the Southwest University of Visual Arts.
Krittika Ramanujan studied painting at Indiana University, Bloomington, and received an MFA in printmaking from the University of New Mexico. She has had solo shows featuring three ongoing bodies of work: Dante’s Divine Comedy, mammal skeletons (Coterminus) and human rights and lynching (Ghost Puppets).
In her introduction to the book, Naomi Rose writes:
“By way of introduction to The Mendonҫa Mystery and Other Stories, let me say that I’m not certain who is the more fortunate here – me or you.
Me, because I got to edit the seventeen magical, often poignant, often humourous stories in this book.
You, on the other hand – on the threshold of reading… You are in for some unexpected adventures at close and memorable range.
There are family stories where the unlikely occurs not only in what takes place but also because how the author tells them opens up fresh new pathways in our reading experience…
There are finding-your-place-in-the-world stories (with the attendant difficulties that can come of that quest to remain oneself and still belong to a new world)…
There are tall tales… and barely exaggerated tales filled with modern urban pathos…
There are sweet and poignant testaments to youthful fancies, embarrassments, and unexpected compassion…
And there is the sheer poetry of haikus in the context of atmospherically drawn moments…”
Introduction / 11
1. The Mendonҫa Mystery / 13
2. Three Dozen Mangoes for Mr. Diefenbaker / 25
3. The Confirmed Bachelor of the Bombay YMCA / 35
4. Zach Runs from a Great Man / 55
5. The Cat Who Drove the Ghost Away / 87
6. Naga in the Negev / 97
7. The Makeover of the Son of Cochin Cohn / 107
8. Sing an Indian Name / 133
9. Grandma and the Old Warrior / 139
10. Mudka-Potka Gobble Village Chic / 155
11. Life, the 27 Bryant Version / 163
12. Riders of Dragon Number 19 / 171
13. Touch Me? Vaya Con Dios Inbound on the 22 Fillmore! / 179
14. Shadows of Spread Wings / 197
15. Fruit for the Gods / 201
16. Where the Clear Creek Narrows / 203
17. Finding Memories in the Library on a Rainy Day / 207