As ardent book lovers we are always on the lookout for new and exciting titles which tickle our imagination to no extent. Here’s a handpicked list of 2019 releases in April, May and June which, we feel must be on every book lover’s TBR list. In continuation with our theme, we are only covering women writers in this segment for this issue. Going forward these lists will include all the writers whose books are releasing soon.
P.S: If you are a writer who has a book releasing soon and want to be featured in this list, do drop us a line with the details for it to be considered.
A captivating and original story of family, of the ties that bind and the secrets we bury, set against the vivid and evocative backdrop of modern India An Irish Times Book of the Year 2019 Escaping her failing marriage, Grace has returned to Pondicherry to cremate her mother. Once there, she finds herself heir to an unexpected inheritance. First, there is the strange pink house, blue-shuttered, out on a spit of the wild beach, haunted by the rattle of fishermen in their catamarans. And then there is the sister she never knew she had: Lucia, who has spent her life in a residential facility.
Soon Grace sets up a new and precarious life in this lush, melancholy wilderness, with Lucia, the village housekeeper Mallika, the drily witty Auntie Kavitha and an ever-multiplying litter of puppies. Here in Paramankeni, with its vacant bus stops colonised by flying foxes, its temples and step-wells shielded by canopies of teak and tamarind, where every dusk the fishermen line the beach smoking and mending their nets, Grace feels that she has come to the very end of the world. But Grace’s attempts to play house prove first a struggle, then a strain, as she discovers the chaos, tenderness, fury and bewilderment of life with Lucia. Luminous, funny, surprising and heartbreaking, Small Days and Nights is the story of a woman caught in a moment of transformation, and the sacrifices we make to forge lives that have meaning.
It is 1974. Indu has inherited a flat from her grandmother and wants to turn it into a library for women. Her parents’ think this will keep her suitably occupied till she marries her fiancé, Rajat, who’s away studying in London. But then she meets Rana, a young lawyer with sparkling wit and a heart of gold.
He helps set up the library and their days light up with playful banter and the many Rajesh Khanna movies they watch together. When the Emergency is declared, Indu’s life turns upside down. Rana finds himself in trouble, while Rajat decides it’s time to visit India and settle down. As the Emergency pervades their lives, Indu must decide not only who but what kind of life she will choose.
Jallianwala Bagh massacre, the butchering of unarmed innocents, is a historic event that haunts the human mind even after the lapse of a century. 1650 rounds fired in a matter of ten minutes, the blocking of exits, preventing help reaching the injured are all acts of unmitigated bestiality.
Through a selection of prose and poetry – The direct outcome of this horrific event and an introduction that traces the history of events leading to the massacre – Rakhshanda Jalil, a literary historian and translator from Urdu and Hindi, attempts to open a window into the world of possibilities that literature offers to reflect, interpret and analyze events of momentous historical import.
The selection offers ways of ‘seeing’ history, of exploring how an incident that stirred the conscience of millions, one that had far-reaching implications for the National freedom struggle and British rule, found its way through pen and Paper to reach the nooks and crannies of popular imagination filtered through the mind of the creative writer.
The stalwarts and acknowledged doyens of Indian literature featured in this volume include Saadat Hasan Manto, Mulk Raj Anand, Krishna Chander, Abdullah Hussein, Bhisham Sahni, Ghulam Abbas, subadhra Kumari Chauhan, Sarojini Naidu, Sohan Singh Misha, Muhammad Iqbal, Josh Malihabadi, Nanak Singh, to name a few.
A collection that can pave the way for further research!
Anita Anand tells the remarkable story of one Indian’s twenty-year quest for revenge, taking him around the world in search of those he held responsible for the Amritsar massacre of 1919, which cost the lives of hundreds. When Sir Michael o’dwyer, the Lieutenant Governor of Punjab, ordered Brigadier General Reginald Dyer to Amritsar, he wanted him to bring the troublesome city to heel. Sir Michael had become increasingly alarmed at the effect Gandhi was having on his province, as well as recent demonstrations, strikes and shows of Hindu-Muslim unity. All these things, in Sir Michael’s mind at least, were a precursor to a second Indian mutiny. What happened next shocked the world.
An unauthorized political gathering in the Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar in April 1919 became the focal point for Sir Michael’s law Enforcers. Dyer marched his soldiers into the walled garden, filled with thousands of unarmed men, women and children, blocking the only exit. Then, without issuing any order to disperse, he instructed his men to open fire, turning their guns on the thickest parts of the crowd. For ten minutes, they continued firing, stopping only when 1650 bullets had been fired. Not a single shot was fired in retaliation. According to legend, a young, low-caste orphan, Udham Singh, was injured in the attack, and remained in the Bagh, surrounded by the dead and dying until he was able to move the next morning. Then, he supposedly picked up a handful of blood-soaked Earth, smeared it across his forehead and vowed to kill the men responsible, no matter how long it took. The truth, as the author has discovered, is more complex but no less dramatic.
She traced Singh’s journey through Africa, the United States and across Europe before, in March 1940, he finally arrived in front of O’dwyer in a London hall ready to shoot him down. The patient assassin shines a devastating light on one of the raj’s most horrific events, but reads like a taut thriller, and reveals some astonishing new insights into what really happened.
A weaver is initiated into the ancient art of bringing a universe into existence. A demon hunter encounters an unlikely opponent. Four goddesses engage in a cosmic brawl. A graphic designer duels with a dark secret involving a mysterious tattoo. A defiant chudail makes a shocking announcement at a kitty party. A puppet seeking adventure discovers who she really is. A young woman’s resolute choice leads her to haunt Death across millennia.
A compelling collection of stories that speak of love, rage, rebellion, choices and chances, Magical Women brings together some of the strongest female voices in contemporary Indian writing. Combining astounding imagination with superlative craft, these tales will intrigue and delight readers in equal measure.
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