Happy New Year Folks!
We're ushering in 2012 with some fantastic new titles that are wonderfully written and make for an excellent read. Poignant, political and provocative, that seems to be the three qualities these titles share with each other.
First up, we have Easterine Kire's Bitter Wormwood. If you're at all interested in the politics of India's Northeast, this book is right up your alley, and if your knowledge of Nagaland is limited to Akhuni and Raja mirchi, then this book is the perfect introduction. You can buy your copy here. Read Easterine's introduction to the book for free right here on The Zubaan Blog.
Next, we have Saswati Sengupta's The Song Seekers. As the monsoon rains wash over the city of Kolkata, four women sit and read and talk in the kitchen of Kailash?the old mansion of the Chattopadhyays where Uma comes to live after her marriage in the summer of 1962.
Her husband s silence about his mother and the childhood tragedy that beckons him from the shadowy landing of Kailash, the embroidered handkerchiefs in an old soap box in her father-in-law s room and the presence of the old, green-eyed Pishi intrigue Uma. But it is only as she begins to read aloud the traditional Chandimangal composed by her husband s grandfather to celebrate the goddess that the smothered stories begin to emerge...
The novel weaves in the history of the militant goddess recast as wife, the Portuguese in Bengal, the rise of print and the making of memories from the swadeshi movement to the turbulent sixties in Bengal as Uma discovers that the foundation of Kailash is not only very deep but also camouflages the stench of death."
You can pick up your copy here
And we have Seventeen, a brilliant new collection by Anita Agnihotri, translated by Arunava Sinha. By turn intense, brittle, angry sad and torn apart in conflict, the stories bring out the different faces of human hardship and explore the India that is still largely unknown. Set in metros and villages, in small-town India and in international suburbia, the stories run the gamut of experiences both everyday and extraordinary. From deeply personal relationships against the backremove of turmoil to intensely social truths told through the unique life of individuals, each of these stories is a picture of human fragility. This is literary craftsmanship at its best.
Pick up your copy here