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A handy roundup of interesting new books for December 2018 by Indian women authors that can be added to your to-be-read list.
We bring you a roundup of interesting new books that you can take a look at and maybe buy. Some of these will of course get full reviews some time, so that you get an in-depth look at them.
Editor’s note: Since these are upcoming books, the descriptions are not reviews, but blurbs taken from Amazon.
Namita Gokhale and Malashri Lal (Penguin)
Who was Radha, and why has she captured the imagination of so many writers across centuries? No other goddess combines the elements of bhakti and shringara quite as exquisitely as the divine milkmaid. She spans a vivid rainbow of imagery-from the playfulness of the Ras Lila to the soulfulness of her undying love, from the mystic allure of her depictions in poetry, art and sculpture to her enduring legacy in Vrindavan. In a way that sets her apart from other female consorts, Radha is idealized and dreamed of in a way that is almost more elemental than mythical.
Namita Gokhale and Malashri Lal, who brought us In Search of Sita: Revisiting Mythology, now present an anthology on the mysterious Radha, the epitome of love, who defies all conventional codes yet transcends social prohibitions through the power of the spiritual and the sensual, the sacred and the erotic. Finding Radha is the first of its kind: a collection of poetry, prose and translation that enter the historical as well as the artistic dimensions of the eternal romance of Radha and Krishna.
Buy your copy at Amazon India.
Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan (HarperCollins)
The Indian epics gain strength and renewal with every telling and retelling. Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan’s compelling and accomplished narration of the crucial story of Amba and Shikhandi is a timely reminder of the constant currency and relevance of the Mahabharata.’ – Namita Gokhale. Book One, The One Who Swam with the Fishes, told the tale of Satyavati on the cusp of womanhood. She is now Queen of Hastinapur and the story moves forward to Kashi, where Princess Amba is growing up with her sisters, Ambika and Ambalika. A swayamvara is arranged for them, where Amba plans to wed Prince Salva, the love of her life. However, an unexpected figure walks into the ceremony and thwarts all plans of a happy ending. In another life, Shikhandi, has never been what he seems. With his close companion, Utsarg, he embarks on a journey to look for a yaksha who will give him what he wants – to be a Kshatriya prince in body and in mind. But along the way, he might have to lose some of himself, the part he calls Shikhandini.
Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan draws out the lesser-known characters of the Mahabharata from the margins and tells their stories with compassion and grit.
Reshma Qureshi with Tania Singh (Pan Macmillan)
On 19 May 2014, as seventeen-year-old Reshma Qureshi left home for the examination center, wearing her sister’s niqab, everything happened in a flash. The men rushed towards her. Grabbed her. Tugged at her hair. Poured acid on her face. Soon she started to burn like a living corpse. The acid ate through her skin and aimed for her bones, but it could not quell the fire in her heart. It lifted Reshma from tragedy and suffering and propelled her to New York, where she made global headlines by becoming the first acid-attack survivor to walk the ramp at the New York Fashion Week.
Now an international anti-acid-sale activist, vlogger, model and the face of Make Love Not Scars, Reshma tirelessly works towards empowering other acid-attack survivors like herself and has become a beacon of hope for millions. Inspiring and life-affirming, Being Reshma is the extraordinary story of a young girl from the slums of Mumbai who overcame insurmountable odds in a world ruled by men and dared to change it.
Suprita Das (HarperSports)
The 2017 ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup saw the Indian team make it to the finals, and although it lost the game, the tournament marked an unprecedented high for viewership for women’s cricket in India. The ensuing euphoria that followed, including the announcement of two film-deals with the team’s leading stars, ensured that the only direction where Indian women’s cricket could go from there was up.
Free Hit is the untold story of how women’s cricket in India got here, and casts light on the gender-based pay gaps, sponsorship challenges, and the sheer indifference of cricketing officials it faced along the way. Focusing on Mithali Raj, the world’s greatest female batsman, and Jhulan Goswami, the leading wicket taker in women’s cricket, author Suprita Das takes us into the lives of the spirited bunch of women who, across the years, just like their male counterparts, also brought home laurels that are worth celebrating.
Buy your copy at Amazon India.
Srividya Natarajan (Juggernaut)
Kalyani comes from a lineage of famous devadasis, though there is no place for her talent in the Madras of newly independent India. The devadasis, once celebrated as artists, are shunned as ‘prostitutes’ in a modern country. In exchange for a comfortable life as the wife of a wealthy arts promoter, Kalyani has to keep her origins hidden and abandon her mother, Rajayi. When a Bharatanatyam dancer from the city sets out to record Rajayi’s dance repertoire on film, the carefully wrapped-up past threatens to unravel.
Buy your copy Amazon India.
Nirmala Govindarajan (Om Books International)
She lives in a forest hamlet in Orissa. With a father presumed dead and a mother gone missing, Susanthi Bodra is compelled to become a breadwinner at the age of twelve. Eight-year-old Nelli runs away from her mistress’s home, but is kidnapped and sold into a brothel in Nagpur. Two decades have passed, and she is yet to return to her hamlet Kithapur. Gowravva, her mother, is on the hunt to find her precious daughter.
From the home of the Lesser Known Goddess to the chilli fields of a mother who has long lost her daughter; from the plush residence of a powerful minister to a vedic ashram, Nainika Chandra, a journalist and the narrator in Hunger’s Daughters, brings together the stories of young breadwinners from the forest hamlets of Jharkhand, Orissa and Karnataka. The book binds the unexplored shades of poverty and power, with an underlying story of love.
Natasha Badhwar (Simon & Schuster India)
If you are in love, afraid of being in love or in love but don’t quite know with what, then this is the book for you.
If you are unhappily married, happily unmarried or vice versa, then this book is the distraction you need.
If you have children, don’t have children or ever plan to be a child yourself, then hang on to the monkey bars this book is for you.
If you have one life, infinite loves and time management issues, then you are holding the essential field guide to sorting out the clutter. Or wreckage. Or whatever it is you call yourself.
Sagarika Ghose (Penguin Viking)
The stamping out of difference, the quelling of diversity and the burial of argument is, in fact, most un-Indian. Anyone who seeks to end that dialogue process is ignoring Indianness and patriotism. The liberal Indian argues for the rights of the marginalized in the tradition of Gandhi for trust, mutual understanding and bridge-building. Real patriotism lies in old-fashioned ideas of accommodation, friendship and generosity; not in force, muscle flexing and dominance.
Why I Am a Liberal is Sagarika Ghose’s impassioned meditation on why India needs to be liberal.
Image source: pixabay
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In her role as the Senior Editor & Community Manager at Women's Web, Sandhya
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