Award-winning, internationally acclaimed author Anita Desai ruminates on art and memory, illusion and disillusion, and the sharp divide between life's expectations and its realities in three perfectly etched novellas. Set in India in the not-too-distant past, the dramas illuminate the ways in which Indian culture can nourish or suffocate. All are served up with Desai's characteristic perspicuity, subtle humor, and sensitive writing. Overwhelmed by their own lack of purpose, the men and women who populate these tales set out on unexpected journeys that present them with a fresh sense of hope and opportunity. Like flies in a spider's web, however, they cannot escape their surroundings - as none of us can. An impeccable craftsman, Desai elegantly reveals our human frailties and the power of place.