Books of the week: From Manan Kapoor’s A Map of Longings to Venita Coelho’s Dark Tales, our picks
We love stories, and even in the age of Netflix-and-chill, there’s nothing like a good book that promises a couple of hours of absorption — whether curled up in bed, in your favourite coffeehouse, or that long (and tiresome) commute to work. Every week, we’ll have a succinct pick of books, across diverse genres, that have been newly made available for your reading pleasure. Get them wherever you get your books — the friendly neighbourhood bookseller, e-retail website, chain store — and in whatever form you prefer. Happy reading!
In Plain Sight
Author Mohamed Thaver’s novel is a mystery told through the perspective of rookie crime reporter Rohan. After the rapes and murders of three minor girls remain unsolved, a frustrated DCP Sawant calls Police Inspector Waghmare, renowned for his crime solving skills. As every lead turns into a dead-end, Waghmare has the feeling that they’re being watched closely by the killer.
Yoga: A Love Story
By Douglas W Davis
Writer Douglas Davis tells the story of John Yogacara Asanga, a descendent of the eponymous saint Asanga. John is yet to realise his destiny and for now, is grappling with his part-Indianness in an American world, journeying from Indiana through the world of drugs and prostitution and his days in prison, to an ashram in India where he meets and falls in love with Aanya.
– MEMOIRS and BIOGRAPHIES
A Map of Longings: Life and Works of Agha Shahid Ali
Writer Manan Kapoor uses unpublished materials and in-depth interviews to present a biography of poet Agha Shahid Ali, from his friendships with Begum Akhtar and James Merrill to following him from Kashmir to Delhi and finally the US. It also traces the evolution of his poetry which ranges various cultures and geographies.
Languages of Truth: Essays 2003-2020
Booker Prize winner Salman Rushdie’s newly collected non-fiction brings together essays, criticism, speeches, and more, written between 2003 and 2020, that throw light on his relationship with storytelling and discuss his idea of the nature of ‘truth.’
A Shadow of the Past: A Short Biography of Lucknow
Author Mehru Jaffer’s book tells the story of Lucknow as a city of substance, focusing on its people, from nawabs and painters to writers and revolutionaries. The centre of the Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb, she traces how the city is known for its art, courts, and poetry, a city of vibrant culture with an influx of creatives.
Sikkim: A History of Intrigue and Alliance
Writer Preet Mohan Singh Malik’s book is a history of Sikkim, f rom the royal kingdom’s unique history to how it became India’s 22nd state. It examines the oft-fraught relationship between the Lepchas and the Bhutias, discusses aspects of India’s relation with Tibet that affect this narrative, and highlights Sikkim’s importance from a strategic point of view.
– YOUNG READERS
Dark Tales: Ghost Stories from India
Writer Venita Coelho’s collection of 11 stories focus on the underbelly of contemporary India, from a story of two men with dangerous secrets who find they have an uninvited guest staying with them to a cursed bride who’s forced into an unlucky marriage and a mysterious child with an angelic face who’s followed around by misfortune, and more.