Why Join?

  • Add New Books

  • Write a Review

  • Backpack Reading Lists

  • Monthly Newsletter

Join Now

Funeral Nights

Funeral Nights

Author(s): Nongkynrih Kynpham Sing

Location(s): Meghalaya

Genre(s): Fiction

Era(s): Modern

A group of friends from Shillong journey to a remote part of West Khasi Hills to witness Ka Phor Sorat, the feast of the dead, a unique six-day-long funeral ceremony of the Lyngngams, a Khasi sub-tribe. It may well be the last time this ancient rite is performed. The ceremony—involving a number of rituals and the sacrifice of as many as fifty bulls—will conclude with the cremation of a beloved elder, a woman whose body has been preserved in a tree house for nine whole months.

By mistake, however, the group ends up reaching the secluded hamlet of Nongshyrkon seven days early. Stuck in the jungle for eleven days, they spend their nights around a fire in the middle of a spacious hut built especially for them, sharing stories and debating issues in what turns out to be a journey of discovery for all of them.

Funeral Nights is an unconventional novel—a vast collection of stories big and small, not so much about death, but about life, past, present and future, rural and urban, high and low; about admirable men and women, raconteurs and pranksters, lovers and fools, politicians and conmen, drunks and taxi drivers; about culture and history, religion and God, myth and legend. Inspired by the narrative frame of Boccaccio’s The Decameron and The Arabian Nights, but adopting a serio-comic style, this is intimate access to a whole world, spectacular in its documentation of a tribe’s life and culture such as has never been attempted before.

‘A closely-woven sequence of narratives that provides us a profound insight into the working of the tribal psyche where the borders of the real and the surreal get blurred … Here is a book of rare scholarship that Mircea Eliade or Claude L vi-Strauss would have read with admiration and yet remains as accessible as fiction to the lay reader.’

Review this Book

To review this book, please

Log in

Latest Blogs

Join TripFiction and take part in our weekly GIVEAWAYS!

Other benefits of membership include:

   Receiving an entertaining monthly newsletter

   Adding new books to the site

   Reviewing books you have read