Pachyderm Tales, a leading Tamil Nadu based Literary Consultancy committed to encouraging the best literature have brought out a collection of Nonsense Flashfiction. The collection by award-winning author Swetha Prakash is titled ‘The butterfish and Gheefish and other nonsense stories.’ It has been published by Zero Degree Publishing.

Nonsense literature is as old as human history itself though it was made spectacularly popular by Lewis Carroll’s Alice books and the poems of Edward Lear. Samples of nonsense literature can be found in all cultures and all civilisations. This book takes the nonsense genre further and focuses on nonsense flashfiction. Nonsense literature believes in joyous writing, it does not believe in classical structures and it deals with ideas and the playful presentation of ideas. The book can be purchased at Butter Fish and Ghee Fish and other Non sense stories-Swetha Prakash–Zero Degree Publishing 1.

Says Author Swetha Prakash, “To write a collection of nonsense stories you as a writer need a nurturing space where you can experiment on literary forms and write those stories that are talking to you in your dreams. Dr Lakshmi Priya and her literary consultancy Pachyderm Tales have provided just the same and thus made this book possible. I cannot thank her and Pachyderm tales enough.”

Journalist  Shantheri Mallaya who has written the forward for the book says, “Swetha Prakash’s ‘The Butterfish and gheefish and other nonsense stories’ is nonsense in all its purity, simply because it takes the young and the not-so-reader to a world of sheer joy – animals, birds, insects, reptiles, princesses all interlocked in “nonsense”. The author has used a mix of imagery and text to create myriad reams of suspension of belief effortlessly bringing together elements of nature in simple narrative.”

The book promises to a be great read for both children and adults.

A sneak peak into what the book holds –

The story of the flesh eating grass

There was once a wildgrass, that grew on the cliffs of San Placibo, that developed a taste for crocodile flesh. It learnt to crawl all the way up to the cliff everyday and hide in a cave mouth till a crocodile will pass by. And then, he would leap on the crocodile. He would unflesh the crocodile and dine happily on the skin. He would feel happy only after he gobbled a few hundred crocodiles. “Hundred crocodiles. How many where there?” “Zazillions, it was the land of the crocodiles. San Placibo was croc land and no other predators lived there till the wildgrass appeared on the scene. The crocodiles were initially shocked by what was happening. But soon they realised something was eating them up from inside – how could a wild grass consume crocodile flesh? “I guess wild grasses are quiet wild.. so I guess they can do almost anything,” one crocodile said. “That makes sense,’’ another crocodile said. “Sure,” said another crocodile, whose neighbour had just be eaten, rather briskly.

The nonsense tale of the fresh water fish and the housefly

Once upon a there, there lived a freshwater fish. She was smart and supple, and was called Do-little -dupple. Do-little-dupple could sing and fly and was often seen playing with the housefly. The housefly called Quite-full-and-thank-you, was filled with black blank spaces and full stops. “You are quite a sentence in yourself,” said the freshwater fish Do-little-dupple. “Í will try to live through that sentence,” said Quitefull-and-thank-you, the housefly. “You make all miniature toys tense,” said Do-littledupple. “That is a sad fact,” said Quite-full-and-thankyou. As it was.

“The butterfish and Gheefish and other nonsense stories” is Swetha Prakash’s 14th book. Swetha Prakash has been a recipient of the Charles Wallace India Trust award by the British council to study post modernism and creative writing at the Scottish Union’s International Summer school, University of Edinburgh. She has also been a recipient of the Scottish Book Trust and Times Jura New Writer Award where she was awarded a month’s writer’s residency at the uninhabited Hebridian Isle of Jura. Swetha has completed her MA in Writing at the University of Warwick. Swetha has also completed her postgraduation in Communication Management from the Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communications, Pune. Swetha’s book Padma Goes to Space was a bestseller and was highly ranked in the media as one of the best children’s books to come out of India. Recently, Pachyderm Tales in association with Ukiyoto Publishing published two of Swetha’s children’s books Pi Chart and How the eland twisted its horns.


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