Anu Kumar‘s stories cover a wide terrain, in time and place. Some are set in India and others in anonymous and mysterious worlds set in the past and distant future. Some stories have much of the old and changing India in them, where a woman runs away in a washing machine, and a wife finds strange succour in a godman and his promises. In ‘Preparing for the Riots’ a young boy notices how his childish rivalries with a neighbouring group of boys are rooted in an abiding deeper hatred. ‘The Right Reason’ takes on farmer suicides that are just a matter of numbers for government officials, one of whom features again in the story, ‘Tale of a Corpse’, where a farmer’s protest turns him into an object of devotion. ‘The Curator’ mingles present with the past, where a man encounters another looking for a statue of a fabled dancer. ‘The Time Jonathan Went Away’ and ‘Summer in the City’ are set in cities of the future, where science has all the answers, yet strange unexpected events still occur. A lover leaves suddenly and a cat’s moods seem suddenly too prophetic, and people disappear in a strange manner whether they are on a roller-coaster in a theme park or simply taking the elevator to the highest floor. In these stories, Anu Kumar has experimented with form, voice and style, hoping to explore the possibilities of the short story. Some of her favourite writers in this genre have been Alice Munro, Mavis Gallant, Haruki Murakami and Nirmal Verma. Anu Kumar has lived in India and Singapore and presently lives in Maryland in the US. She has written for older readers and for children. The Girl who Ran Away in a Washing Machine and Other Stories is her second collection of short stories after In Search of a Raja and Other Stories (2002). She is presently in the MFA programme in writing at the Vermont College of Fine Arts, US. Her website is anukumar.org.