The Selector of Souls: Shauna Singh Baldwin

As the book begins, Damini commits a crime because she believes there is no choice. No one sees her commit it except the goddess Anamika Devi (the Unnamed One), but it haunts her. With this incident, Shauna Singh Baldwin sets up the theme of the book: how women cope in a society where they are …

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Abburi Chayadevi (1933-2019): A writer who never stopped asking questions

Review by Sadhana Ramchander In 2016, when Anuradha Gunupati and I met 83-year old Abburi Chayadevi to tell her about our plans to publish a book on her writing and craft, she asked, “Why do we need this book? I am already suffering from fame.” I was delighted to find that she still asked questions! …

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Harilal & Sons: Sujit Saraf

Beginning in 1899 when India was still under British rule, this sprawling narrative takes us through the country’s independence and partition in 1947 and ends in 1972, following the creation of Bangladesh. At the centre of the story is Harilal, a Marwari[1] merchant. When the story opens, Harilal is 12 years old. He lives in …

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Em and the Big Hoom: Jerry Pinto

Both books I’ve read this month—Elena Ferrante’s My Brilliant Friend and Jerry Pinto’s Em and the Big Hoom—have been excellent. And the year has only just begun! Em and the Big Hoom is a moving, funny account of living with a mentally ill, suicidal mother—Em of the title—told from the point of view of her …

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