Eclectic reading to look forward to in 2014…
A new year brings with it a cache of new books. From consultations with various editors and publishers, these are what emerged as significant titles to look out for in the coming year:
Capital: A portrait of twenty first century Delhi — Rana Dasgupta’s book on Delhi, to be published by Harper Collins, is not the first non-fiction account of the city, nor will it be the last. What it is though, as the nod to Karl Marx in the title indicates, is a story of the city’s intoxicating and terrifying capitalist transformation.
Murder and Mahim — Jerry Pinto, the winner of the Crossword Book Award for Fiction 2013, returns with a collection of detective stories in this Aleph publication, featuring a retired journalist and a hard-boiled cop.
The Ocean Ringed World — The Navayana publication offers readers in English a chance to savour Sahitya Akademi Award winning Tamil novelist Joe D. Cruz’s “Aazhi Soozh Ulagu”, in a translation by V. Geetha. “From the catamarans of the 1930s to the trawlers of 1980s, the novel spans a vast historical canvas threading the minutiae of everyday life with political and social events.”
The Accidental Prime Minister: The Making and Unmaking of Manmohan Singh — As his turbulent second term comes to an end, Manmohan Singh’s former media adviser Sanjaya Baru tells the story of “what it was like to ‘manage’ public opinion for Singh…” in this Penguin publication.
Creation — The latest handmade title from Tara Books features, for the seventh time, work by acclaimed Gond artist Bhajju Shyam. “From a fish, waiting to be born, to the beginning of art and the necessity of death… celebrated Gond tribal artist Bhajju Shyam gathers together his community’s myths of creation into a rich and luminous cosmos,” say the editors at the Chennai-based independent publishing house.
Picture This! — In an earlier interview, Zubaan publisher Urvashi Butalia had marked out picture books as an area where feminist publishing could proceed. This book is a movement in that direction. An artist and a member of Kutch Mahila Vikas Sangathan, Radhaben Garve illustrates the campaign for women’s rights, for economic empowerment and for resistance to corporations.
From India to Palestine: Essays in Solidarity — Edited by Githa Hariharan, the Leftword Books publication is a collection of essays by Indian writers, academics and journalists on Palestine. In the words of Akeel Bilgrami, “In recent years, the Indian state has reversed a century-long, honourable tradition of support for the great political struggles in the world. These fine essays, focusing in detail and depth on the struggles in Palestine, restore some of that lost honour…”
Take Me Home — In this Westland Books offering, Rashmi Bansal tells the inspiring story of twenty-odd entrepreneurs from small town India. According to Paul Vinay Kumar, publisher, Westland Books, “The book is divided into three sections — sons of the soil, return of the native, chhoti si asha,” which detail the different routes for the same journey.
Screenplays of “Kagaz Ke Phool” and “Chaudhvin Ka Chand” — Apart from nostalgia value, these books present material for the serious film buff to contend with. “What you get is a 360-degree view of what happened when the films were put together,” says Dipa Chaudhuri, chief editor of Om Books. “The published screenplay is not just the transcription of dialogue, but a more academic treatment.”
Invisible Libraries — Written by Lawrence Liang, Danish Sheikh and Monica James, the Yoda Press title explores our love affair with libraries. “At a time when the ‘book’ as we know and love it in its physical form stands endangered, our authors put together a handful of journey narratives to invisible libraries, or libraries that might have been,” says publisher Arpita Das.