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When travel writer Christopher Stewart arrives at a riverside resort in Kerala to meet Koman, Radha’s uncle and a famous Kathakali dancer, he enters a world of masks and repressed emotions. From their first meeting, both Radha and her uncle are drawn to the enigmatic young man with his cello and his incessant questions about the past. The triangle quickly excludes Shyam, Radha’s husband, who can only watch helplessly as she embraces Chris with a passion that he has never been able to draw from her. Also playing the role of observer-participant is Koman; his life story, as it unfolds, captures all the nuances and contradictions of the relationships being made – and unmade – in front of his eyes. A brilliant bled of imaginative storytelling and deeply moving explorations into the search for meaning in art and life, “Mistress” is a literary tour de force from one of India’s most exciting writers.