Nancy K Shields

Looking at Air in Tuluva

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Kezzie, a museum curator and photographer mourning the recent death of her husband, comes to myth-steeped Tuluva, now South Kanara, India to photograph spirit dancers (bhutas). Drawn by these souls, who died precipitously leaving them with a strong sense of a life yet to live, Kezzie is at first unsure what to expect. Thrown into an intriguing nest of locals and international travellers, living in a bungalow carressed by the rhythms of the sea, Kezzie moves between the mundane and the spiritual, between the demands -both social and sexual -of her fellow Europeans, and between the harsh realities of India and its more pressing spiritual demands. Interwoven with stories of spirit lives and travellers' tales, Kezzie's journey, perfumed by night-blooming jasmine and vivid with colour and movement, leads her to a sense of mastery over her grief as she slowly comes to appreciate how to 'look at air'.
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208 printed pages
Original publication
2012

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