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A handy roundup of interesting new books in January 2019 by Indian women authors that have to be added to your to-be-read list.
I am an inveterate book buyer – my shelves overflow, but a new book always perks me up. Last year, I was unable to read much somehow, but I couldn’t seem to find the time for some reason. But one of my new year resolutions is that I make time for my books. Find time to just sit back and savour them. But I’m going to limit my book buying to those that I must absolutely read.
Some of my book buying budget is set aside for the new releases, and I am always on the lookout for good ones. What better than buy a few new books by authors I have loved reading in the past? A search through Amazon threw up these 5 amazing sounding books that are an absolute must buy.
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni (HarperCollins)
An amazing writer, whose books are all about the heart and mind of the women characters, her retelling of the Mahabharata from the point of view of Draupadi, The Palace of Illusions celebrates its 10th anniversary this year with a special numbered and autographed, hardbound limited edition book that I’m sorely tempted to buy, even though I already have a well thumbed old copy of my own.
10 years from then, and with more than a couple of dozen books to her name, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni brings us another mythological figure, the tragic heroine of the Ramayana, Sita. The Forest of Enchantments promises to do for Sita’s story what The Palace of Illusions did for Draupadi’s. Really looking forward to it. As the blurb says, “While the Ramayana resonates even today, she makes it more relevant than ever, in the underlying questions in the novel: How should women be treated by their loved ones? What are their rights in a relationship? When does a woman need to stand up and say, ‘Enough!'”
It’s truly time we said ‘Enough!’
Buy your copy here.
Sreemoyee Piu Kundu (Bloomsbury India)
Author of Status Single, that tells it as it is, and with 4 other books under her feminist belt, Sreemoyee Piu Kundu comes up with Cut in January, a book that delves into the life of a theatre artist, who remains true to the voice of artistic integrity even in the face of death. A very pertinent book in today’s world of government censure and ruthless stifling of any who question their ways.
Manisha Koirala (Penguin)
An 80s and 90s actor of note, Manisha Koirala had disappeared from acting for a while, coming back in Netflix’s Lust Stories, after a long time. Where was she?
She was battling ovarian cancer, being treated for it by oncologists in the US. Healed is her debut book, and looks like an emotional roller-coaster of healing and hope from the blurb, which says, “Today, as she completes six years of being cancer-free, she shares her story-one marked by apprehensions, disappointments and uncertainties-and the lessons she learnt along the way. Through her journey, she unravels cancer for us and inspires us to not buckle under its fear, but emerge alive, kicking and victorious.”
If her powerful TED talk is anything to go by, this is certainly a must read.
Rujuta Diwekar (Westland)
Almost everyone has heard of Rujuta Diwekar, the nutritionist who Kareena Kapoor swears by. Her books and easy to understand and follow, and are rooted in science that works – the most important among which is, in my opinion, The PCOD and Thyroid Book, that speaks to a very large proportion of Indian women who suffer from these disorders that affect their everyday life.
Rujuta has now written Notes for Healthy Kids that addresses the health and lifestyle of the new generation, the future citizens of India, the children, a “book that is as much for parents as it is for kids, … It empowers kids to make the right food choices for themselves.”
Mahasweta Devi (Seagull books)
Mahashweta Devi is better known to readers of Bengali and Hindi literature, and many of her iconic books are available as excellent translations. Her English readership knows her best for her book After Kurukshetra, based on what she imagines happened after the great war was over. I’d recommend her new book In The Name Of Mother, in which the author looks at the different faces of Indian motherhood, something that is deified, but can come with great cost to the self of an Indian woman.
Header image source: Amazon
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