Editor’s Pick : November 2020

Editor's Pick : November 2020

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The month of November makes me feel that life is passing more quickly. In an effort to slow it down, I try to fill the hours more meaningfully.” –   Henry Rollins

November is here; a tentative end to this dreadful year is near. Most of us have lost some and gained a lot of meaning into our lives, in all the time we have had with ourselves. We have read some stupendous books this year and it’s time to read some more this month. I present our Editor’s Pick for November at your perusal, dear reader.

Ratno Dholi – By Dhumketu, Translated by Jenny Bhatt 

Gaurishankar Joshi a.k.a. Dhumketu was born in 1892 and had written 492 short stories in Gujarati. He was a contemporary of Rabindranath Tagore and Munshi Premchand. The four volumes of short stories, known as Tankha are pioneers in Gujarati Literature, first published in 1926. Jenny Bhatt has ably translated some of them into this beautiful collection called Ratno Dholi. This is a treat to lovers of fine Indian literature.

Emperor Harsha – By Adity Kay 

Adity Kay has been writing this interesting Emperor series of novels based in India. After Chandragupta and Vikramaditya, her latest is Emperor Harsha, based on Harshavardhan from seventh century CE. He was a reluctant prince waiting to turn into a scholar but fate pushes him towards the throne. The story of Harsha would be intriguing to read, if you are able to look beyond school texts in History.

Women, Dreaming – By Salma, Translated by Meena Kandasamy 

More translations feature in our list this month as such wonderful books are being published in these times. Salma is an activist and writer based in Tamilnadu. She has been fighting for women’s rights since long and this is her second novel – about various Muslim women living in a tiny village in Tamilnadu and dreaming wonderful things. Meena Kandasamy, famous in her own right, has translated this amazing work.

Impossible Causes – By Julie Mayhew 

’An unputdownable novel that examines the consequences of silence kept at young women’s expense.’ This quote from the blurb seemed totally apt to me because a lot is happening in the entire world on these premises. Termed as a ‘claustrophobic’ novel by critics, this is the kind of thriller that I like to read. Julie Mayhew is an actor turned author and a screenwriter.

The Cowherd Prince – By Krishna Udayasankar 

Govinda has been popular not only as a deity but also as the cute little child who belonged to a cowherd family. It was revealed later that he was a prince, for real and an heir to the crown. But, what was his plan and how did he become a master strategist? Krishna Udayasankar explains and elicits in her latest novel. If you have been a fan of her writing, this is a must read.

The Winter Garden – By Heidi Swain 

You know, it will be Christmas soon. And, who doesn’t love a bit of Christmas cheer and reading? There’s no better treat to pick up in advance than Sunday Times bestselling author Heidi Swain’s latest novel!  Let’s indulge in a little fun and love this festive season.

The Devil and the Dark Water – By Stuart Turton 

Stuart Turton had a stunning debut in 2018 winning the Costa Best First Novel award. This is his second and set to be another bestseller this year! A sprawling historical fiction set in the 17th century amidst the sea, ships, sailors, deceit, envy, murder and what not! This is next on my reading list as my husband grabbed it first and is literally devouring it now!

A Bit of Everything – By Sandeep Raina 

I am still admiring the cover of this book as I’m writing about it. It looks absolutely stunning and tells a very important story too. Sandeep Raina is from Kashmir, lives in London and has written several short stories. This is his debut novel, a story of migration and tugs to the heart from the land one calls home, even after several migrations. It’s a story that needs to be told and read.

Padmavati the Harlot and Other Stories – By Kamala Das 

Kamala Das has been one of those rare women authors in India who began writing in English and wanted her voice to be heard. Her writing is unflinching, close to the ground and unabashedly feminist. This is a compilation of her short stories on various themes like love, violence, desire, sex, family and communalism. A classic that you shouldn’t miss.

The Bhagvad Gita for Millennials – By Bibek Debroy 

The Bhagvad Gita is well revered as a book of impeccable strategies. Bibek Debroy, an economist and translator, has presented it in an easy way, like a go-to guide for Millennials, who wouldn’t read the otherwise ancient text. We’d say it’s an important step to get them familiarised with Arjun’s dilemma and Krishna’s advise that might well come in handy in life, at present.

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