HOMING IN Books

Sudeep Chakravarti recommends books for the week

Mother of 1084 (Hajar Churashir Ma) by Mahasweta Devi

Sudeep Chakravarti recommends books for the week

A book for our times by one among a brilliant galaxy of women writers from India. The desolation caused by the failure of government policy and state machinery, consequent public anger and subsequent hammer-strikes by the State against its peole; the despair, anger and grief of a mother here extends beyond the book’s setting in the early-1970s. It questions the narrow scopes of politics, ideology, religion and gender-mauling. It’s now.

Tamas by Bhisham Sahni

Sudeep Chakravarti recommends books for the week

I first read Tamas in the late 1970s at school. Hindi is not my first or second language, but I understood enough for this work to bring home to me the horrors of Partition, the politics of religion, and the deliberate mechanics of rioting in a way few works have done. I now own an English translation. In any language, any form, Tamas remains a pivotal comment on how people are manipulated by the pimps and pushers of politics and religion.

Cuckold by Kiran Nagarkar

Sudeep Chakravarti recommends books for the week

A book for the lover of historical fiction far removed from the non-application and non-writing that besets so much of this genre in India today. Set in 16th century Mewar of the time of Mirabai, and told largely from the point of view of her bewildered yet adoring prince-husband, this a masterclass in research, imagining, and storytelling. Cuckold isn’t instant-spew ‘literature’. It’s brewed, like good coffee.

Our Lady of Alice Bhatti by Mohammed Hanif

Sudeep Chakravarti recommends books for the week

This is a work of wrenching love, hate, bigotry, aspiration, confusion, Karachi, and Pakistan. It’s a special heaven and hell basted with almost ridiculous humour and sprinkled with passion. You order the meal at his Machiavellian Star restaurant and then arrive at that most confusing and welcome state: sated, and hungry for more.

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Printable version | Oct 20, 2020 4:29:00 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/books/sudeep-chakravartis-reading-recommendations/article32714524.ece

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