Ru Freeman

A good story will always move you regardless of anything. On Sal Mal Lane by Ru Freeman makes no demand of its readers being associated with one or the other identity unlike the characters in the book. It doesn’t make the readers take sides, which is why it is so easy to let oneself be moved by it.

Reviewed by: R. Nithya
Temsula Ao

We know the past can be changed. We can choose what we should believe, we can choose what we should remember. This is what frees us, this choice frees us to hope….  Amy Tan in The Opposite Of Fate (cited in  page (i) of  the Memoir. I have never read any book by Temsula Ao.

Reviewed by: Ratan Parimoo
Manju Kak

Just One Life and Other Stories is a collection of short stories about the ordinary person, the poor person, the underprivileged  person—people about whom very little is written, who merely find mention in passing. The author has written about them, their relationships,…

Reviewed by: Indu Liberhan
Nabaneeta Dev Sen

Nabaneeta Dev Sen’s travelogue written and published first in Bangla in 1977 titled Karuna Tomar Kon Patha Diye fills the gap in an important sub genre of travel literature in that it narrates a road story of a woman. The work was first published in the special edition of Desh, a Bengali periodical…

Reviewed by: Nilanjana Mukherjee
Chitrita Banerji

At a key moment in this novel, the protagonist Uma reflects upon a Baul song by Lalon Shah, evoking the mysterious allure of Mirror City—‘a place that adjoins one’s home, yet remains forever unreachable’. This is also the feeling we get about the city of Dhaka as it appears in Chitrita Banerji’s…

Reviewed by: Radha Chakravarty
Ismat Chughtai

Ismat Chughtai has often been described as Urdu’s most courageous and also controversial woman writer, which is not to say that the epithet ‘controversial’ has worked to her disadvantage. Think Ismat: think delightful, fiery, provocative and well known feminist stories, never mind if they are occasionally heart breaking too.

Reviewed by: Baran Farooqi
M.T. Vasudevan Nair

It is doubtful whether even the most confirmed admirers of M.T. Vasudevan Nair’s novels will judge Varanasi (2002) as a mature or profound work. The reason?  Certainly not the lack of good, solid ingre-dients in the composition.

Reviewed by: P. Radhika
Keki N. Daruwalla

Written between 1991 and 1993, Daruwalla’s collection celebrates the histories and legends of the grand Persian Empire, a phase of history barely glanced at in contemporary literature. The book explores the stories of the kings—Darius, Cyrus and Alexander.

Reviewed by: Semeen Ali
S.K. Saksena

The second book by S.K. Saksena, the distinguished Professor of Philosophy, collects his essays on western philosophy and Hindustani music. There are a range of meditations on Hegel, Kant and Croce and how their theories illuminate Indian musics.

Reviewed by: Partho Datta
Ina Puri

The first book is an affectionate portrait of Shiv Kumar Sharma put together by his devoted friend Ina Puri. The text comprises a long interview by Puri, an appraisal of the maestro by Vijay Kichlu and an account of Sharma’s career in Hindi films by enthusiast Manek Premchand.

Reviewed by: Partho Datta
Deepa Ganesh

This biographical work on the towering Hindustani vocalist, Gangubai Hangal (1913-2009), is based on a series of visits the author made to the diva’s home, and extensive interviews with people close to her subject. The author’s discovery of this extraordinary personality spans a period of four years (2005-2009).

Reviewed by: Deepak Raja
Deepa Ganesh

This biographical work on the towering Hindustani vocalist, Gangubai Hangal (1913-2009), is based on a series of visits the author made to the diva’s home, and extensive interviews with people close to her subject. The author’s discovery of this extraordinary personality spans a period of four years (2005-2009).

Reviewed by: Deepak Raja
Gary Michael Tartakov

It is a common perception that Art and Disadvantage do not go together. The disadvantaged do not have the time for Art or any such creative activity. The pursuit of creative activity is a privilege for the advantaged or those who have the resources and the time to learn and practise their art.

Reviewed by: Krishna Swamy Dara
Laila El-Haddad

Much has been written and spoken about as well as protested against the brutality of Israel’s occupation over the Palestinian territories. However, Palestinian freelance journalist, Laila El-Haddad’s honest account of being a wife, mother, daughter and simply a Palestinian under occupation exposes the reader to a reality incomprehensible beyond the boundaries of the separation wall.

Reviewed by: Kanchi Gupta
Sara Pilot

The Fear That Stalks, a product of a conference organized by CEQUIN in collaboration with UNDP and NCW, speaks to the complicated nature and multifaceted dimensions of gender-based violence in public spaces. This excellent collection of nine essays spread over three hundred pages anticipates some of the debates on sexual violence that resounded in the streets of Delhi in the winter of 2012.

Reviewed by: Pratiksha Baxi
Bidyut Chakrabarty

1990s was the era of great transformation in the history of Indian politics. Since then no single party won a majority in the national polls until and this phase is largely known as the ‘post-Congress era’. Coalition politics is a result of rise of regional parties on agendas of national importance.

Reviewed by: Md Irfan
C. Christine Fair

The volume is an invaluable collection theoretically bound together with a thoughtful Introduction and a concluding chapter that generalizes the findings of the cross national research.  It attends to one of the fiercely debated questions in security establishments and amongst strategic thinkers across the world as to who should police insurgencies…

Reviewed by: Ajay K. Mehra
Happymon Jacob

The Modi-Sharif meeting in Delhi on 27 May, following the swearing-in ceremony and the subsequent debate on the relevance of Article 370 brought J&K briefly back into public debate. India and Pakistan have, since then, reverted to their domestic preoccupations—developmental and governance issues in India; the military operations in FATA to tackle terrorism in the aftermath of the TTP attack on Karachi airport in Pakistan.

Reviewed by: T.C.A. Rangachari
Jean Law de Lauriston

When I was asked to review this translation of a Mughal memoir, my reasons, at least I believe, were very different from that of the translator of the volume. The memoir is a narrative of the events of a part of the eighteenth century and translated from ‘Original’ French to English.

Reviewed by: Meena Bhargava
Amles Tripathi

The importance of the book under review is not just that it remembers the nationalist movement at a time when it appeared to have been forgotten, but also tells us how to remember the nationalist movement. Chronologically speaking, reflections on the nationalist movement have gone through four stages.

Reviewed by: Salil Misra