Manoranjan Mohanty

There is a veritable cottage industry that has grown up around books about China’s amazing economic transformation over the last four decades. An even more popular sub-genre is increasingly evident: the story of how China’s rise is poised.

Reviewed by: Ravi Bhoothalingam
Pooja Bhatt. With Introduction by Air Marshall KK Nohwar PVSM VM (Retd.)

Regardless of the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, for much of this year, the choppy waters of the South China Sea have witnessed an intensification of geopolitical contestation. Beijing has sought to project force through military drills and by entering.

Reviewed by: Manoj Kewalramani
Habiburahman with Sophie Ansel

The blurb of the book claims: ‘Here, for the first time, a Rohingya speaks up to expose the truth behind this global humanitarian crisis. Through the eyes of a child, we learn about the historic persecution of the Rohingya people and witness the violence Habiburahman.

Reviewed by: Baladas Ghoshal
Lt.Gen. H.S. Panag

Lt Gen HS Panag writes that having commanded two armies, the northern and central army, he had over six lakh troops under him at some point or the other. Most of them may have seen the badge he wore on his uniform since his colonel days that read: ‘Don’t do anything that I don’t do.

Reviewed by: Ali Ahmed
Sahba Husain

For a non-Kashmiri, the ‘word’ Kashmir has, over decades, evoked varied emotions and brought about alternating images of tranquillity and unrest. The ‘place’ Kashmir has witnessed political upheavals, natural disasters and spiritual awakenings over centuries.

Reviewed by: Manisha Sobhrajani
Amita Baviskar

Amita Baviskar brings her careful and serious considerations to the city of Delhi, and its environs, including Gurgaon, giving us interesting insights into an urban constellation we know so well. She looks at the way a city is constructed in terms of experiences and events.

Reviewed by: Susan Visvanathan
Viral V. Acharya

This book intrigues. It comes heavily recommended. It was released, in a high-powered function graced by two former RBI Governors (YV Reddy and Duvvuri Subbarao) as speakers and a galaxy of present and former RBI officials, Deputy Governors and so on.

Reviewed by: TCA Ranganathan
Rajan Gurukkal

With a partial image of Rodin’s iconic sculpture of The Thinker on the cover, and a dedication to Romila Thapar, the undisputed doyenne of ancient Indian history, Rajan Gurukkal’s History and Theory of Knowledge Production is indeed a formidable feat of scholarship.

Reviewed by: Deeksha Bharadwaj
K. A. Nizami. Translated from the original Urdu by Ather Farouqui

The Urdu Department of Delhi University has a photo gallery on its website. In a 1966 photograph of the Department, taken during the inaugural Nizam lecture, Princess Esin and Prince Muffakham Jah of Hyderabad are seated. Between the newly married.

Reviewed by: Nikhil Kumar
Avik Chanda

The legacy and the myths surrounding him have far outlived Dara Shukoh, inspiring historians of varied hues to reconstruct the unusual persona of a prince who could have been an emperor. A visionary thinker, a talented poet, a prolific writer, a theologian.

Reviewed by: Sudhirendar Sharma
Chanchal Kumar Ghosh/Bidisha Banerjee

Two very different books on the incomparable river Ganga: one, linking the river to a cultural continuity threading centuries into the past; the other, seeking personal inspiration and civic lessons from stories of hope and despair encountered along the river.

Reviewed by: Govindan Nair
Ritesh Joshi. Foreword by Raman Sukumar

The elephant in India is an iconic animal writ large in our experience, culture and civilization. Several books have been written about it for centuries and they can fairly fill a book cabinet. The present offering is by the author, an environmental scientist.

Reviewed by: Divyabhanusinh

Today was her birthday. She remembered…

Perumal Murugan

As a writer, Perumal Murugan has a politics of his own. Readers of Murugan know that following the protest against his 2010-Tamil novel, Mathorubhagan (One Part Woman) he wrote his obituary in 2015 saying, Perumal Murugan, the writer, is dead.

Reviewed by: Sumallya Mukhopadhyay
Neela Bhagwat and Jerry Pinto

Self-identity and self-expression have never been very smooth for women, described by one of the translators of this volume of poems under review as ‘adi-dalit, the original broken, oppressed and silenced’ caste. When social, economic and linguistic norms.

Reviewed by: Rohini Mokashi-Punekar
Srikant Verma

One of the challenges of translating an Indian text into English is the constant tussle between the ‘Indianness’ of the original and the ostensible foreignness of the English language. But what if a Hindi novel is translated in such a way that the English.

Reviewed by: Syed Aalim Akhtar
Jerry Pinto

‘The trouble with having everything so beautifully thought out is that if one link in the think chain snaps, you are left holding the loose ends with not half an idea between the ten of you about what to do.’ – Shanta Gokhale.

Reviewed by: Semeen Ali
Nihshanka Debroy

This debut novel offers a playful twist on the possible origins of chess. The narrative flips back and forth between the boardrooms of the 21st century and the battlefields of the 5th century. The protagonists are Ms Vinita Joshi.

Reviewed by: Devangshu Datta
Priya Balasubramanian

Reading Priya Balasubramanian’s The Alchemy of Secrets during Covid-19 pandemic left a strong afterthought. While fierce debates rage on if the deadly disease is airborne and if community level transmission is observed at places, I wonder if those questions.

Reviewed by: Divya Shankar
Viswanathan Anand with Susan Ninan

Bonn, 2008. Viswanathan Anand and Vladimir Kramnik face each other in the World Chess Championship, a much-anticipated clash between two modern titans of the game. The episode serves as a suspenseful introduction to the autobiography of the five-time World Championship winner, Viswanathan Anand.

Reviewed by: Nihshanka Debroy