Over the years, your support has made Women’s Web the leading resource for women in India. Now, it is our turn to ask, how can we make this even more useful for you? Please take our short 5 minute questionnaire – your feedback is important to us!
Amazon’s announcement to close Westland Books and its 4 imprints by 28th February 2022 is a huge blow to its authors. Can you do this to help?
On the 1st of February 2022, Amazon announced that by the end of the month, Westland Books will be closed. This includes books published by Westland, as well as those published under its imprints Context, Tranquebar, Westland Non-Fiction, and the children’s imprint Red Panda.
This has been a huge blow to the authors who have been published by one of these. What happens to their books, their creative babies, their labour of love?
Westland is a homegrown publishing house that has been built and grown over the past 6 decades of independent India, that has lourished and done “incredible work” under the leadership of its chief editor VK Karthika, and we can easily say that it carries the voice of Indians in print.
Everything is still under wraps and we don’t really know what will happen, but I’ve been thinking about this lament in Scroll that says, “for Amazon to do this to a publishing company interferes not just with the tastes of a nation, but with a nation’s ability to tell its own stories;… to express, openly and without fear, its immeasurably many selves.”
Amazon isn’t giving any explanations, though a representative has said that they are “working closely with the employees, authors, agents, and distribution partners on this transition and we remain committed to innovating for customers in India.”
The word is that all rights will revert to the authors, and their books will not be available in the market anymore, either the paper print copies or the Kindle versions. I am trying to find out if Kindle versions bought by readers stay with them – the consensus seems to be that yes, if you have bought and downloaded a Kindle version, it stays with you, but it is likely that if the proprietary file format for Kindle books is changed, they might not be accessible on newer Kindle models. There’s always that danger.
That said, if you, like me, are a bibliophile, and who values the work authors put in to create their books, and the whole experience of reading, maybe like me, you’d want to buy copies for yourself while they are still available. You can also gift them to others, or request your colleges, universities, and libraries you frequent to buy copies.
As things stand, the books in print will be available till the 28th of February 2022.
Note: While the books here are linked to their listing on Amazon for the sake of convenience, I would request those of you who can, to please buy from indie bookstores, as lack of support to these bookstores is as much a part of this problem as Amazon itself. There’s a list of bookstores later in the article.
Listing here a few books I’d recommend, written by Indian authors who are women.
By Sharanya Manivannan
The book is part of a duology on Ila of the Kallady lagoon, accompanying a picture book for children, Mermaids in the Moonlight. In Incantations Over Water, Ila the mermaid is the narrator, and offers what the author calls a “self-portrait without mythology.”
By Kavitha Rao
Women doctors are the norm today. The ideas of women training to be doctors were unacceptable in the past, and would have remained so if it wasn’t for a few women who were determined to change things. These are the stories of 6 such pioneer women.
by Manjul Bajaj
The legend of Heer and Ranjha, told from multiple perspectives, set against the lush riverbanks and rugged countryside of West Punjab, this is a wise, passionate and lyrical retelling of one of the subcontinent’s most beloved epics.
by Manjiri Indurkar
Manjiri Indurkar was in her twenties; working, and living away from home with her partner, when she fell violently ill… what was her body telling her about a need to address the violence of her past?
by Shashi Deshpande
Shashi Deshpande’s name is synonymous with Indian writing in English. Here is her biography in which she opens up about her life and work.
A collection of essays that invites its readers to actively and compassionately enter a fascinating dialogue with others on India’s contemporary social, literary, and political issues.
By K.R. Meera
In this illusory landscape are the hard truths about the intertwined histories of Hindus and Muslims in India, as well as the chasms between men and women. A hypnotic novella by K.R. Meera, deftly translated by Nisha Susan, Qabar echoes with the dizzying knowledge that verdicts are not solutions.
by Rujuta Diwekar
Rujuta Diwekar is amongst the most followed nutritionists globally, and a leading health advocate. Over the past decade, her writings have decisively shifted food conversations across the country away from fads and towards eating local, seasonal and traditional. This is a collection of some of her writings on various related issues.
By Amrita Mahale
Childhood allies Ira Kamat and Kartik Kini meet on the terrace of their building in Matunga, Mumbai, while a meeting is in progress to decide the fate of the establishment and its residents.
Milk Teeth is subtle, incisive, unputdownable.
By Jane Borges
Set in Cavel, a tiny Catholic neighbourhood on South Bombay’s D’Lima Street, this delightful debut novel is painted with many shades of history and memory, laughter and melancholy, sunshine and silver rain.
By Suchitra Vijayan
Midnight’s Borders, featuring over forty original photographs, is a compelling narrative of a country in crisis, turning against its own people while coping with the legacy of colonialism and Partition. As the margins close in on the mainland, this necessary account forces a reckoning with the brutality that informs India’s relationship with its borderlands.
By Apurva Purohit
‘So, do you intend to work after marriage?’ ‘I am the COO of an organisation. Obviously, I intend to work after marriage!’ No man has ever been asked this question. For a working woman, it’s par for the course.
By Amruta Patil
Aranyaka: Book of The Forest, by Amruta Patil and Devdutt Pattanaik, loosely inspired by the Upanishadic story of rishi Yajnavalkya and his two wives, Katyayani, and Maitreyi, brings to us timeless lessons about ecology, feminism, and empathy.
By Meena Kandasamy
Exquisite Cadavers is a story about a young couple navigating love in London, and a literary hall of mirrors about an author navigating the inspirations behind her work.
A decade ago, in 2010, Indira Chandrasekhar set up Out of Print to address a need she felt as a writer: a focused platform for the short story; a space for robust editorial discussions as well as one that would serve as a platform for discoveries—of newer facets of the form itself and of new writing. This commemorative volume hopes to capture something of that adventure.
By Rujuta Diwekar
Rujuta Diwekar’s The PCOD Thyroid Book throws light on a baffling and complex disorder that affects women’s lives in very fundamental ways – physical and social.
By Savie Karnel
In a world polarised along religious lines, The Nameless God offers a vision of another way of being. This powerful and moving story of friendship and understanding brings home the pointlessness of the invisible boundaries created by different faiths.
By Anuja Chauhan
This is the sequel to her equally well known Those Pricey Thakur Girls, both romcoms.
By Nisha Susan
This is one of those books you have to think about after you put it down – it eludes description somehow. For those who read to escape – this is like a journey through very different, and sometimes uncomfortable, worlds.
By Revati Laul
Revati Laul’s unforgettable narrative, built on a decade’s worth of research and interviews, is the very first account of the perpetrators of 2002—and a crucial new addition to the literature on violence.
By Tarana Husain Khan
Set in 1897 in the princely state of Sherpur, this is the story of the beautiful and wilful Feroza Begum. Inspired by real-life characters and events, The Begum and the Dastan is a haunting tale of a grand city and its women.
By Piyusha Vir
Daśāvatāra is a fun retelling of stories about Lord Vishnu’s ten avatars, how they manifest in the world and how they save it. Trekking across these pages are also fearless warriors and kings, mystical and mythical creatures, powerful gods and goddesses and powerful demons.
By Nighat M Gandhi
Alternative Realities is the author’s attempt to deconstruct the demeaning stereotypes that prevail about all Muslim women. It is a reflection of the myriad ways in which, despite misogynistic forces, they continue to weave webs of love and peace in their own lives and in the lives of those they live with.
By Krupa Ge
Krupa Ge’s debut novel is an absorbing tale of an angsty young woman who must unravel the secrets of her family before she can untangle her own life.
By Nalini Jameela
This is Nalini Jameela’s story, told in her inimitably honest and down-to-earth style, of her search for dignity, empowerment and freedom on her own terms as a sex-worker.
By Uddipana Goswami
Here are thirty tales that come from the seven sister states of Northeast India, tales that have been in circulation orally for generations, but brought together in this manner for the first time.
By Nandini Murali
This profoundly moving book is an important contribution towards addressing the shame, secrecy, silence and stigma of suicide loss, and a step towards bringing it out of the closet.
By Khyrunnisa A
A fun collection of short articles that deals with everyday experiences in a humorous fashion, Tongue-in-Cheek has something for every reader. Each piece offers an entertaining inside account of the experiences and misadventures of an urban woman.
By Meghna Pant
Amara is caught in a tug-of-war between old obedience and new friends who encourage independent thought. With Powerful insights, One and a Half Wife traces the coming-of-age of multiple characters, while re-defining family, relationships and love in contemporary India.
By Payal Dhar
Sami, a sixteen-year-old, is often asked: “Are you a boy or a girl?” A sensitively told story of a gay teen in India, a much needed representation.
By Saba Dewan
As affluent and powerful as they were, tawaifs were marked by the stigma of being women in the public gaze, accessible to all. In the colonial and nationalist discourse of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, this stigma deepened into criminalisation and the violent dismantling of a community. Tawaifnama is the story of that process of change, a nuanced and powerful microhistory set against the sweep of Indian history.
By Selina Sen
A love story that mixes reel and real life, past and present, of a Bollywood actor and played out against the violence and volatility of Kashmir.
Please check with the one in your city or the nearest one if they ship to your residence. Some ship internationally – do check. You’ll find contact details (phone, email) at these links.
Bangalore: Bookworm, Blossom Book Store, Champaca Bookstore Library & Cafe
Delhi: Eureka! Bookstore, Bahrisons, Full Circle Bookshop
Goa: Dog Ears Bookshop, Literati Bookshop & Cafe
Pune: Pagdandi Bookstore
Mumbai: Trilogy Bookshop and Cafe, Kitab Khana
In her role as the Senior Editor & Community Manager at Women's Web, Sandhya Renukamba is fortunate to associate every day with a whole lot of smart and fabulous writers and readers. A doctor read more...
Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times.
Stay updated with our Weekly Newsletter or Daily Summary - or both!
Though companies are luring employees 'back to office' with many incentives, many women still want to work from home. Here's why.
Out of all the things that the COVID pandemic has taught us, perhaps the one lesson that most are practicing now, is the ‘work from home’ culture.
A shift that came as a result of the COVID imposed lockdown; this mode of working seems to have today become the preferred work mode for many corporate employees.
Long after the economy has opened and offices have commenced work full-fledged, we still see the impact of this on corporate recruitment. People continue to look for work options that are ‘off-site’, and this has prompted a large number of organizations to offer them inducements to return back to ‘on-site’ mode. The inducements are either monetary (in the form of increased pay) or are gifts, or even offers for a flexi/hybrid mode of working.
Freelance or full-time, which is a better mode of work for you? Here are the pros and cons, from someone who has been-there-done-that.
For women who are restarting their careers after marriage, motherhood, or any other personal reasons, freelance work is an excellent avenue to consider. I think I’m qualified to make this statement because I’ve been there, done that.
When we had to shift from Chennai to Bangalore because of my personal situation, I was both excited and anxious; excited about the new pastures I was going to explore, and anxious that it should all work out well for us; for me, my husband, and our daughter (5 years old then).
Bangalore welcomed us with open arms and there has been no looking back since. I had just completed a corporate training course a month before moving to Bangalore, and was looking at new opportunities.