The Mysterious Ailment of Rupi Baskey; Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar, Aleph, Rs.295.

The book is the story of the Baskeys — the patriarch Somai; his alcoholic, irrepressible daughter Putki; Khorda, Putki’s devout, upright husband, and their sons Sido and Doso; and Sido’s wife Rupi. Equally, the novel is about Kadamdihi, the Santhal village in Jharkhand in which the Baskeys live. The Mysterious Ailment of Rupi Baskey brings to life a village, its people, and the gods — good and bad — who influence them. Through their intersecting lives, it explores the age-old notions of good and evil and the murky ways in which the heart and the mind work.

Book of Common Signs; Ashok Srinivasan, 4th, Rs.399.

An evocative collection of 13 short stories, Book of Common Signs is set among the women and men who inhabit the streets and by-lanes, the high-rises and hutments of middle-class India. Passionate, seductive and pulsating with raw energy, they break the boundaries of life and art to inhabit a landscape that is a metaphor for the dark anxieties of their own minds. This collection brings alive to the reader an imagination of profound insight and great emotional power.

Someone; Alice McDermott, Bloomsbury, Rs.399.

An ordinary life — its sharp pains and unexpected joys, its bursts of clarity and moments of confusion — lived by an ordinary woman: this is the subject of Someone.

Scattered recollections — of childhood, adolescence, motherhood, old age — come together in this transformative narrative. Our first glimpse of Marie is as a child. Marie’s first heartbreak and her eventual marriage; the Second World War; her parents’ deaths; the births and lives of Marie’s children; the changing world of her Irish-American enclave in Brooklyn — McDermott sketches all of it with sympathy and insight.

This is a novel that speaks of life as it is daily lived.

Dewdrops; Sujit Kumar Mukherjee, Poets International, Rs.400.

Dewdrops is an innovative and new form of short poems on universal themes containing nature and humanism. These poems are written in free verse without an identity of the conventional poetic form. The collection is the first of its kind to be published in the domain of English literature. Manifestations, grandeur, beauty, sublimity, divinity expressed in simple poetic language make for a good read.

A Thing Called Love; Tripu Dhar, Midland, Rs.150.

An out-and-out metro read, the novel tells the tale of two young people in love. 20-year-olds Nishtha and Niladri meet at the JNU campus and almost instantly fall into a relationship. A few bumps along the road later, the story shifts from romance to a more realistic portrayal of today’s relationships.

Keywords: booksfirst look