by Mayank Austen Soofi
About the book: The sex workers of Kotha no. 300 raise their children, cook for their lovers, visti temples, shrines and mosques, complain about pimps and kotha owners, listen to film songs, and solicit and entertain customers. By following the daily lives of the denizens of one kotha, Mayank Austen Soofi paints an intimate portrait of women for whom sex is work - a way to make a living. With precise details and haunting photographs, Soofi delicately and carefully etches the everyday world of those who inhabit the peripheries of society.
by Arshia Sattar (Foreword by Gurcharan Das)
About the book: Even in ancient India, money is always a good thing and everyone wants it. The stories in The Mouse Merchant—selected from the Sanskrit universe, from the period of the late Rig Veda to the twelfth century—tell us how money was dealt with in everyday life in ancient and medieval Indian society. At the heart of these tales is the merchant. Sometimes gullible, sometimes greedy; ingenious at some moments, dim-witted at others; and hopelessly in love with courtesans but also loyal to their wives, our merchant heroes show how innovation in business is sometimes more important than capital. The Mouse Merchant puts these stories into the context of Indian business history, giving not only rare insights into the romance of the ancient seafaring life but also great wisdom about money.
by Hasan Manto
About the book: A bohemian and an iconoclast, the figure of Saadat Hasan Manto looms large over the literature of the Indian subcontinent. We know of his stories on the horrors of Partition and the struggles of prostitutes. But neither Partition nor prostitution gave birth to the genius of Manto. They only furnished him with an occasion to reveal the truth of the human condition. My Name Is Radha is a path-breaking edition of stories which delves deep into Manto’s creative world, and refreshingly brings into focus Manto the writer rather than Manto the commentator. Muhammad Umar Memon’s inspired selection of Manto’s best-known stories along with those less talked about, and his precise and elegant translation showcase an astonishing writer being true to his calling. ‘The undisputed master of the modern Indian short story’ Salman Rushdie ‘An errant genius’ The Hindu
by K. M. George
About the book: One of the most celebrated contemporary fiction writers of Malayalam, Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai is well known for his captivating short stories. This selection of fourteen stories reflects his many faceted genius. Sensitive yet presented in a simple style of prose, these tales, when first published, evoked a new social awareness in the society.
by Patrick Modiano
About the book: "Missing a young girl, Dora Bruder, 15, height 1.55m, oval-shaped face, grey-brown eyes, grey sports jacket, maroon pullover, navy blue skirt and hat, brown gym shoes. All information to M. and Mme Bruder, 41 Boulevard Ornano, Paris." The author chanced upon this notice in a December 1941 issue of Paris Soir. The girl has vanished from the convent school which had taken her in during the Occupation. She had apparently run away on a bitterly cold night at a time of especially violent German reprisals. Moved by her fate, the author sets out to find all he can about her. Eventually he discovers her name in a list of Jews deported to Auschwitz in September 1942 and what further fragments he is able to uncover about the Bruder family become a meditation on the immense losses of the period - people lost, stories lost, human history lost. Modiano delivers a moving survey of a decade-long investigation that revived for him the sights, sounds and sorrowful rhythms of occupied Paris. And in seeking to exhume Dora Bruder's fate, he in turn faces, and must come to terms with, his own family history.
by Grant Naylor
About the book: When Holly, the Red Dwarf's computer, suddenly goes dumb, David Lister, the holographic Arnold Rimmer, Cat, and Kryten, the cleaning robot, become trapped in a game called "Better Than Life," and it is up to a talking Toaster to save them all. Original.
by Jhumpa Lahiri
About the book: How do you clothe a book? In this deeply personal reflection, Pulitzer Prize–winning author Jhumpa Lahiri explores the art of the book jacket from the perspectives of both reader and writer. Probing the complex relationships between text and image, author and designer, and art and commerce, Lahiri delves into the role of the uniform; explains what book jackets and design have come to mean to her; and how, sometimes, “the covers become a part of me.”
by Deborah Wiles
About the book: On 11 May 1998 the Indian government tested five nuclear devices some forty kilometers from Pokaran. Seventeen days later Pakistan tested nuclear devices of its own. About three months after the tests, Amitav Ghosh went to the Pokaran area, after which he visited Kashmir as part of the defense minister’s entourage. He also went to the Siachen glacier in the Karakoram Mountains where Indian and Pakistani soldiers have been exchanging fire since 1983. Ghosh then travelled through Pakistan and Nepal. Countdown is partly a result of these journeys and conversations with many hundreds of people of the subcontinent.
by Kamala Das
About the book: It Is The Second World War And Kamala And Her Brother Are Removed From Their Parents Home In Calcutta To The Safer Environs Of Their Village In Northern Kerala. At Once An Outsider And An Integral Part Of Her Ancestral Home, Kamala Struggles To Fathom The Intricacies Of Class, Caste And Language. But Surrounded By People Like Her Adoring Ammamma, The Servant Sankaran Who Promises To Teach Her The Crow-Language, And Valli Who Tells Her Stories Of Yakshis Whose Breasts Are As Big As Jackfruits, Kamala Soon Discovers The Joys Of Growing Up As The Centre Of Everyone S Universe. As Calcutta Fades From Her Mind Like An Old Dream, While The Thudding Of The Drums At The Para Festival, The Roar Of The Velichappadu As He Becomes Possessed And The Songs Of The Parayankaali Dancers Become Absolute Realities Of Life.
by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
About the book: Written with compassionate realism and wit, the stories in this mesmerizing collection depict the disparities of town and village life in South America, of the frightfully poor and outrageously rich, of memories and illusions, and of lost opportunities and present joys.