Nobody asked: What was she like? Venus? By daylight? And if they had, what could I have said? For the truth was in my stories, not in what I said I'd seen. All I had seen was a black dot. She had passed me by as she passed by the sun. In Venus Crossing, Kalpana Swaminathan masterfully crafts twelve stories that lay bare the deepest complexities of human relationships. These stories capture the instant of transit, that moment when the impossible—the unthinkable—is absorbed into the fabric of life so that life can be lived again. That moment is everything: revelation, challenge, existence. In the Yellow Dupatta, practical compulsions surmount grief as a young couple takes their dead child home from hospital. A middle-aged nurse finds romance with the most obnoxious of patients in Sister Thomas and Mister Gomes. Two young women shattered by rejection begin the long journey of survival in Fly Away, Peter. Incident at Abu Ghraib finds Sukhi appalled by her mother's empathy for a disgraced American soldier. Hemant is counselled, in Euthanasia, to opt for the final solution—but will he? Incisive, brilliant and deeply compassionate, Venus Crossing showcases Kalpana Swaminathan's consummate skill as a storyteller and proves, yet again, the uncompromising vision of her craft.