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Deepak Unnikrishnan bags ‘The Hindu Prize 2017’ for ‘Temporary People’
Deepak Unnikrishnan bagged the coveted The Hindu Prize 2017 for his ode to the ‘pravasi’ Malayalee - ‘Temporary People’. Receiving his award from British novelist and journalist Sebastian Faulks
The Hindu | January 15, 2018
How Novelist Deepak Unnikrishnan Post-Modernized the United Arab Emirates
The Abu Dhabi-based writer uses feats of imagination to bring voices to country’s many inhabitants.
The Culture Trip | October 28, 2017
New Public Programme Deciphers UAE through Food, Sport and Music
Where can you get the best bread in Abu Dhabi for Dh2 or less? Where is the best place to eat Ugandan or Ethiopian food? Do you have what it takes to find fresh coconut water from Kerala, or are you only able to find the sort that comes from Sri Lanka? For the writer Deepak Unnikrishnan, who grew up on Abu Dhabi’s Hamdan Street, such questions are more than a matter of taste, memory or nostalgia, they’re one of the key techniques he uses to entice his students beyond the confines of New York University Abu Dhabi’s (NYUAD) Saadiyat Island campus.
The National | September 10, 2017
5 Hot Books; Do Bad Brains Create Murders? Dictionary Stories and More
Five books worth reading are briefly explored.
The National Book Review | March 26, 2017
Stories of Fragmented Lives in the Emirates - Book Review
Deepak Unnikrishnan’s novel-in-stories narrates a series of metamorphoses. Guest workers dissolve into passports, a man begins “moonlighting as a mid-sized hotel” and a sultan harvests a fresh crop of laborers.
The New York Times | March 24, 2017
Book Review of Temporary People
Unnikrishnan explores the depredations, sorrows, and longings of these foreign laborers, who are often treated as disposable, with a dark whimsy. The style varies widely; one tale consists simply of a list of professions and adjectives. Some of the longer allegorical stories—achieving the proper mix of absurdity and pathos.
Publishers Weekly | March 14, 2017
Book Review of Temporary People
In 28 engrossing linked stories, Unnikrishnan blends Malayalam, Arabic, and English slang as well as South Asian and Persian Gulf cultures to capture the disjunction and dissociation of temporary foreign workers who live in the Arabian Peninsula but will never receive citizenship.
KIRKUS Reviews | March 14, 2017
Book Review of Temporary People by Deepak Unnikrishnan
Deepak Unnikrishnan’s Temporary People is a riveting debut collection of twenty-eight short stories written in a mélange of stylistic registers. Fiction, Unnikrishnan writes, has “barely addressed the so-called guest workers of the (Arabian) Gulf.”
World Literature Today | March 2017
Temporary People depicts the lives of guest workers in the UAE
The sense of displacement, of disconnect begins on the cover: The words “A Novel” written sideways, unobtrusively stamped along the left side under the title Temporary People, might be considered misleading. Made up of three "books" that comprise eight, nine, and 10 chapters respectively, Deepak Unnikrishnan’s debut is more accurately a collection of (very) loosely interlinked stories.
The Christian Science Monitor | March 14, 2017
There Is No Second Generation: Deepak Unnikrishnan’s ‘Temporary People’
Temporary People is not an elegy or lament. While it documents the scatterings and dismemberments that follow from non-existent labour standards and racism, it reveals interior lives that are too easily reduced to jokes or numbers in migration studies. Unnikrishnan asks us to consider this absence and feel it on our tongues.
The Wire, India | March 13, 2017
Unnikrishnan’s ‘Temporary People’ captures the plight of workers in the UAE
Deepak Unnikrishnan’s new novel is made even more moving by the author’s statement about writing it: “ ‘Temporary People’ is a work of fiction set in the UAE, where I was raised and where foreign nationals constitute over 80 percent of the population. It is a nation built by people who are eventually required to leave.”
The Washington Post | March 13, 2017
The man who became a suitcase. The ‘fone’ that let people talk forever. The migrant who tried to fly
Deepak Unnikrishnan’s stories in Temporary People are linked and then reappear in a somewhat cyclical way. The title draws on the uninterrupted supply of temporary workers – mainly from South and South-East Asia to the Gulf states – a necessity for oil-rich West Asian city-states and governments since the 1960s, as they sought to develop and build their luxurious world-class desert cities.
Schrol, India | March 5, 2017