Jagannath Ambagudia

Earlier this year, while the country witnessed protests against the newly amended Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2019 (CAA), the Bharatiya Janata Party’s senior leader and the then Chairperson of the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST), Nand Kumar Sai.

Reviewed by: Mahtab Alam
Hilal Ahmed

The interplay between religion and politics has been the quintessence of political discourse in postcolonial India. Hilal Ahmed’s Siyasi Muslims: A Story of Political Islams in India is an attempt to define Muslim political discourse in postcolonial India.

Reviewed by: Abidullah Baba
Vasanth Kannabiran

Vasanth Kannabiran’s latest book, described in this edition’s back cover as ‘a feminist memoir’, is a great deal more. There are at least three major narrative strands in the book: (1) Central to it is Vasanth’s examination of her evolution.

Reviewed by: Kamakshi Balasubramanian
Ashwani Kumar

Ashwani Kumar, lawyer and veteran of the Rajya Sabha for fourteen consecutive years, has contributed several articles over the years to the Tribune, the Indian Express and The Hindu. This new book is a collection of essays on a wide range of issues of contemporary concern.

Reviewed by: Aakash Singh Rathore
Navroz K. Dubash

If we think that climate change is only the melting of glaciers in the polar regions, decreasing numbers of polar bears, wild fires in Australia or the Amazons, sea level rise and hurricanes in the US, we are in denial! The average temperature in India.

Reviewed by: Ajmal Khan
Pankaj Jha

In this study of Vidyapati, scholar and poet from fifteenth-century eastern India, Professor Pankaj Jha explores how historians might engage with literary texts so as to enrich our understanding of both history and literature. Vidyapati presents.

Reviewed by: Ramya Sreenivasan
Chander Suta Dogra

Nations love their armed forces and nationalism thrives on war but wars have consequences for which neither the nationalists nor their leaders are usually prepared. Military and political histories also feast on war but in general do not pay adequate attention.

Reviewed by: Anirudh Deshpande
Shubha Mudgal, Aneesh Pradhan and Kunal Ray

Following from Javed Akhtar’s lament in the Foreword to this volume, there is much to be said for re-focusing our collective attention on the shabd (literally, word) or the text as a proxy for language (and not just in music), as the richness.

Reviewed by: Ashwini Deshpande
Rachna Ramya

The large majority of books on Kathak that offer a historical, theoretical and practical approach to the study of the dance form are in Hindi. Some are also available in other vernaculars like Bengali. This itself makes Kathak: The Dance of Storytellers.

Reviewed by: Vikram Iyengar
Francesca Momplaisir

This cracker of a debut novel opens with a house on fire—La Kay, a house that is one of the protagonists, a sentient house, that is actually attempting to commit suicide. The house has had enough of its ‘owner’ Lucien, an immigrant from Haiti who had moved.

Reviewed by: GJV Prasad
Varun Thomas Mathew

The year is 2041. A huge fortress named Bombadrome, 500 sq. km in an area housing thirty million people stands against a towering sea wall on the soil of erstwhile Bom Bahia, Bombay or Mumbai. Equipped with the finest transport network, efficient.

Reviewed by: Divya Shankar
Haroon Khalid Akhtar

Womankind must keep walking to stay a matter of safe routine. Standing still made one the object of prying eyes.It is the act of standing still that reverberates throughout the novel in diverse ways and takes on new meanings in every turn of the page in the novel.

Reviewed by: Semeen Ali
Gulvadi Venkata Rao

The first Kannada novel, Indira Bai or The Triumph of Truth and Virtue, has been recently translated into English, for the second time, by Vanamala Viswanatha and Shivarama Padikkal. Originally published by the Basel Mission Press, Mangalore, in 1899.

Reviewed by: Parinitha Shetty
Kavita A. Jindal

A winner of the Brighthorse Prize, Kavita A Jindal’s debut novel builds slowly at first; the mood is tense, both pace and complexity rise steadily to an almost rabid crescendo. Jindal’s rich prose seduces you into northern India: Uttar Pradesh,

Reviewed by: Jason A Reading
Tishani Doshi

It is understandable that Tishani Doshi as a poet would prefer to write slowly. But she extends the principle of slow writing to her prose works too, speaking of its value in a note at the end of her debut novel The Pleasure Seekers (2010).

Reviewed by: Himansu S Mohapatra

Through the thick haze, Sayma did not see the airborne projectile that smacked her square between the eyes.

When she realized that she had been struck by a rolled-up newspaper, curses came flying out of her mouth at the bitter old goat that came every morning to deliver it on his bicycle. An appropriate response was promptly hurled back.