Here is a book to be shared with your closest friends. The Miscreant presents a cast that includes misbehaving young men, squabbling couples, and frustrated lovers, and it occupies a geography that ranges from 1930s India to present-day New York City. Victor is genuinely fond of his characters, from the harried husband in the slapstick “Peter and the Ants,” which turns pest control into a new world war, to the desperate young man in “Loving Ayesha,” a story that weaves secular love, religious ardor, and India’s struggle for freedom from British rule into the book’s most unlikely and affecting centerpiece. It’s a fondness that gives this collection an unusual—and welcome—warmth.
—Robley Wilson, author of Terrible Kisses, Dancing for Men, and Who Will Hear Your Secrets?
Dear Publisher of The Miscreant: I am afraid I must decline your request to supply a blurb for Mr. Rangel-Ribeiro’s book. The collection’s promiscuous expressive range—from moving love story to racehorse slapstick—confused this would-be blurbist terribly. That the stories take place everywhere from Bombay to Times Square added to his vertigo, while giving him whiplash. To make matters worse, there are so many stories, each better than the last, and each so different. But what made this would-be blurbist’s task entirely impossible was that, each time he arrived at a potentially honest, useful, and more-or-less accurate blurb, his laughter or his tears (or both) caused him to fall off his favorite chair, resulting in minor injuries and embarrassment and deleting the nascent blurb from his head. Please accept my sincere apologies and convey my regrets to the author.
—Peter Selgin, author of Drowning Lessons and The Inventors
The Miscreant is an exquisite collection of tales whose settings span centuries and continents, from Goa and Mumbai to Manhattan to the ancient Roman Empire. Whether describing the madcap antics of a village thief, the efforts of an elderly churchgoer to outwit the Angel of Death, or an Indian immigrant finding unexpected companionship in America, Rangel-Ribeiro brings both settings, often exotic, and people, always multifarious, to charming life. Underlying the quiet hilarity here are threads of spiritual wisdom and a heartwarming portrayal of human foibles.
—Donna Baier Stein, author of Sympathetic People and The Silver Baron’s Wife
As colorful as an Indian tapestry and as complex as the alleys of Kolkata, so is the journey with Victor Rangel-Ribeiro’s stories. With his eloquent and humorous pen, the author treats the reader to a concert of sights, sounds and flavors as his life carries him from remote Goa and Mumbai to New York, with tales in which he always finds the tender, the comic and the absurd.
—Talia Carner, author Hotel Moscow, Jerusalem Maiden, China Doll, and Puppet Child