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Book Review: The Woman Who Thought She was a Planet

Vandana Singh’s The Woman Who Thought She was a Planet is a Collection of Diverse, Interesting Stories.

In Vandana Singh’s short story collection The Woman Who Thought She was a Planet, no two stories are the same. Moving from SciFi to Magic Realism, Singh plays with the idea of what is real, whose memories are true and the imprint of colonialism on Indian landscapes and history. Every story is paced really well. They are all engaging, easy to follow while still being interesting and move quickly enough to leave you wanting more. The title story follows a woman under the delusion that she herself is a planet. It is told through her husband’s perspective, tracking what he believes is his wife’s unravelling. Without spoiling the story, things take on magical and unreal twists. You never know exactly what will happen until the end. It is very intriguing and different from most other writers I have ever read. The stories are all unique but do feel cohesive. They do a good job of getting you thinking and stick in your head long after you have finished them. It is an easy read, especially since each story is quite short. One critique for the series is that when the descriptions get very in depth and start to incorporate ore Magical Realism elements a second-read might be necessary to fully understand what the is happening in the story. This is not a debilitating issue and does not much get in the way of your understanding of the story. The richness of the description and imagery is also a benefit for the reading experience. There is meaning in every word selected and rereading the stories back can often reveal unnoticed description and metaphor that add layer upon layer of nuance to the story. I would recommend this collection to anyone looking for something that will surprise them and pull them in.

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