Jaryk Smith, a survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto, has just entered a new relationship with Lucy Gardener—a southerner, also newly arrived in New York—when he learns his oldest friend, Misha, has died under mysterious circumstances in a rural village in eastern India. Travelling there alone to collect his ashes, Jaryk soon realizes this won’t be as simple a trip as he thought once he learns that Misha had been in the midst of staging a play there, Rabindranath Tagore’s The Post Office. Performed in Paris the night the Germans took the city, and in Bangladesh during the crackdowns of General Tikka Kahn, and in the Warsaw orphanage where Jaryk grew up as an act of resistance against the Nazis, he makes it his mission to see through the production in this Indian village. But as he becomes more involved with the play and community, Jaryk is forced to reckon with the survivor’s guilt he has carried for decades and learn how to accept a happiness with Lucy he is not sure he deserves.
JAI CHAKRABARTI’s short fiction has appeared in numerous journals and has been anthologized in The O. Henry Prize Stories, The Best American Short Stories, and awarded a Pushcart Prize. Chakrabarti was an Emerging Writer Fellow with A Public Space and received his MFA from Brooklyn College. He was born in Kolkata, India, and now lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his family. A Play for the End of the World is his first novel.--- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/steve-richards/support