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Tag Archives: Smriti Ravindra

In which Namita Gokhale's selects her top reads for 2011 and includes three Zubaan Titles

We're extremely delighted to find three of our titles featured in Namita Gokhale's list of Best titles of 2011. For Zubaan, this comes close on the heels of Venus Flytrap, Zubaan's anthology of women's erotica, being listed in at least five publications as one of the significant books to look forward to in 2012. Clearly we're doing something right. However, it isn't complete until you read the precious titles that we put out on the shelves. These are the three books in Namita Gokhale's list.

 

A Terrible Matriarchy By Easterine Iralu

It’s the coming of age story of a Naga childhood, situated in both internal and social strife. Documenting a society in transition, it evokes the spirits of time and place, of births and deaths and passings. Iralu’s writing has the quality of pared down simplicity, with an aftertaste of hurt and irony. “For some days after Vimenuo’s father’s death, people could speak of nothing else. There were stories of people who saw him on their way back from the fields in the late evening. They said he appeared to them near the stream on the way home, his face turned away from them. But of course they knew it was him immediately; he wore the checked flannel shirt that was his favourite when he was alive.”

Buy your copy on Flipkart by clicking here

 

The Bad Boys Guide to the Good Indian GirlBy Annie Zaidi and Smriti Ravindra

Aka the Good Indian Girl’s Guide to Living, Loving and Having Fun, this delightful book actually covers much more serious territory than the unsuspecting reader might first deduce. The “Good Indian Girl” is the subject of much Bharatiya and diasporic angst. Dedicated to “All Indian Girls: Good, bad, ugly, little, perfect, plump, married, dead”, this tour de force goes through the complex territory of sex, virginity and sacrifices in the name of family, culture and nation. As the authors elucidate, “You can access a kind of default nationalism through the simple process of not having any fun...”

Buy your copy on Flipkart by clicking here

 

A Street in Srinagar By Chandrakanta

The book has been effectively translated by Manisha Chaudhury from the original Hindi. The shadows of violence loom over Ailan Gali, a street in Kashmir where the houses are stacked against each other in shoulder rubbing intimacy. These multiple tales of memory and transition, of migration, modernity and exile hold together a novel which invokes the sounds and smells of a place the Pandit community once called home.

A Street in Srinagar has also been shortlisted for the DSC Prize to be announced at the Jaipur Literature Festival!

Buy your copy on Flipkart by clicking here

Presenting the Flyers for The Good Indian Girl Book Tour
The Bad Boy's Guide to a Good Indian Girl

Our brilliant and very exciting title, The Bad Boy's Guide to the Good Indian Girl, by Smriti Ravindra and Annie Zaidi has been getting some splendid reviews.  This doesn't happen too often with our titles, most publications are biased and believe our titles are too niche, a false accusation, you'll realise when you go through our catalogues.

But its true, The Bad Boy's Guide to the Good Indian Girl, is a one-of-a-kind title. It's revolutionary because our fantastic authors have managed to fictionalise or rather contextualise non-fiction accounts by men and women they've interviewed and to put across their narratives in quirky, subversive ways.

If you haven't yet read the book, and you need a little nudge, do check out these reviews. If you have read the book and have your own opinion about it, we'd love to hear from you. Feel free to send in a comment, we'll be happy to feature it on the blog.

The Midday Review is poignantly titled, "Desperately Seeking Savitri"

Amrita Bose writes:

Right from the book's onset, the authors claim that every generation has had their share of GIGs  (Good Indian Girls, abbreviated throughout the book). While the story called Buzz is a fun take on the literal 'buzz' that is created, when a girl asks her male classmate the way to the toilet in his house at a party -- Panty Lines outlines the relationship a girl shares with her panties, including the association of shame and forbidden desires attached to it. Boobs, is an astute observation about how peers can make one feel worthless and ashamed about one's body.

The writing style is colloquial and therefore easy to identify with. The narratives could be from anywhere in India, though Annie is keen that readers not adopt a closed approach to their origins. "I resent blinkered phrases like 'stories from small-town India' or 'Gen Next'. I have met conservative women even in Mumbai. For instance, as a cub reporter, I was once scolded by a woman for asking men, instead of women, for directions when I was lost."

Paromita Vohra, the edgy writer and documentary film-maker reviewed the book for Tehelka in a piece called The Nervy Ones

The book’s memoir-like writing is gleaming filigree, delicately detailing the tiny shifts of implication girls gauge to see how far they can go, how much more they can want — unlike the Schneider and Fein type girl, their wanting is huge. It lays out the web of reputation, violence and confusion, the extreme fear of being alone that leads to lives of both depression and defeat as well as chance-taking, effrontery, bold fun lies and canny manipulations. These stories, with few morals, absorb you, make you laugh, and quiet you — especially those of the Singh sisters, who call boys from a landline hidden in the cupboard and who end up marrying exactly the boys they want, through deft moves, whereby the defeated patriarch PP Singh doesn’t even know he’s been bested.

Just Femme, an online women's magazine has another positive review by Padmalatha Ravi, called "Being a Good Indian Girl"

Annie Zaidi and Smriti Ravindra’s book The Bad Boy’s Guide to Good Indian Girl tells me that this is one of the qualities of a GIG (good Indian girl) and who is the Bad Indian Girl (BIG). They dissect this and many other facets of being a GIG and unearth the complexities of living in a society that is modern and traditional at the same time. This complex phenomenon unfolds through stories of many women, interwoven, laying bare the hard work that goes into being a GIG. It is funny. It is enlightening. It is non-judgmental. And it is upsetting in many, many ways.

And finally (at least for the moment), the review in The Hindu who covered the launch of the book in Bangalore. Read "And the Good Girl Is" for more. Meanwhile, an excerpt:

The book has been co-authored by Annie and Smriti Ravindra and the whole book is an attempt to locate this creature known popularly as the ‘good Indian girl' says Zaidi, “The book is an attempt to figure it out – we talked to women in the sub-continent and wrote stories on their stories and it culminated in this book.

If you can't take our word for it, you can go by the reviews, and with the click of a button and for just Rs 207 (Rs 88 discount), you can own your very own copy of The Bad Boy's Guide to the Good Indian Girl through Flipkart.

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