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Af­flic­tions - A whim­si­cal ex­am­i­na­tion of the hu­man con­di­tion, filled with nu­ance and wit

Storizen Magazine - - What's Inside - - Vikram Par­alkar

The En­cy­clopae­dia Medic­i­nae at the Cen­tral Li­brary is the repos­i­tory of a dizzy­ing ar­ray of ail­ments, and Máx­imo is thrilled to get a peek at the ob­scure af­flic­tions: An am­ne­sia that causes ev­ery­one you’ve ever met to for­get you ex­ist, while you re­main painfully aware of your his­tory.

A mal­ady that erodes the link be­tween cause and ef­fect: one man com­mits a mur­der, an­other car­ries the guilt and a third is sen­tenced for it. A con­di­tion that causes your body to im­i­tate death – stop­ping your heart, cool­ing your blood. Will the fit pass be­fore they bury you, or af­ter? As Máx­imo soon dis­cov­ers, the pur­suit of knowl­edge at the Cen­tral Li­brary is tan­gled up with the hu­mour and in­cli­na­tions of the writ­ers and their times. The Af­flic­tions is the bril­liant first novel by physi­cian­sci­en­tist Vikram Par­alkar, whose The Wounds of the Dead gar­nered much crit­i­cal ac­claim. Veiled in a pseudo-me­dieval set­ting and a list of sur­real ill­nesses, the au­thor presents a re­lat­able ver­sion of what truly ails us all.

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