The Blotted Line is a new collection of short stories by Queensland writer Mehreen Ahmed. It boasts of a deliberately cosmopolitan air and skillfully weaves the stories in the book through many different countries like Spain, Brisbane, Paris and Bangladesh. Reading this book will give you an overwhelming feeling of globetrotting will be a major mistake.
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The profound psychological insight with which Mehreen Ahmed underpins her characters is nothing less than extraordinary. With every single story, the reader will be moving to different geographical locations. There is also a thematic cohesion interlinking each of the seven stories that ultimately offers the satisfaction of reading a complete novel. The stories are certainly distinct, but they carry a deep meaning, as they explore issues about loss, trust, freedom and happiness.
For many `Of Note', the final story of the book will probably be the best read. The story is set in Canada and is about a refugee who has significant resonance for the country. The story has a political undertone but never makes it overtly prominent. This is certainly a very good example of Mehreen's admirable skill of storytelling. She brings together disparate geographical narratives all bearing a singular vision of the world of the future.
Riddled with foreign words from one cover to another, The Blotted Line can easily be termed as an international book of short stories. The universal issue of loss is one thematic link that weaves through the narratives and brings them together. Though all the stories have a unique plot and settings but in each of them the characters lose something extremely precious. This loss is not always in the sense of material possessions, but human values like trust, freedom or happiness is also there. The author has a natural fluidity in her writing that keeps the readers hooked to its pages. The Paperback edition of Blotted Line is published by Story Institute in English. The book has an ISBN 10: 0979445159 and an ISBN 13: 978-0979445156. Other notable works from the author include Jacaranda Blues and Opioid Dependence and Benzodiazepines. You can order it online and have it delivered at your doorstep.