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the man who tried to remember

Makarand Sathe, translated by Shanta Ghokale
Penguin, 2012, pp 237, 399
Achyut Athavale is an economist of some social standing. A speech of his results in a riot, leading Achyut to move into an elderly home. He suffers temporary memory loss and murders another inmate of the home. Events take a bizarre turn with the media, the Hindi film industry and some international political figures campaigning to assert Achyut’s innocence.

wings of silence
Shriram Iyer
Westland, 2012, pp 244, 199
Saurav Sethi, teenage prodigy and tennis star in the making, watches his brother Raj fight a losing battle in life. But his father turns a blind eye, letting Raj spiral into depression. Saurav challenges destiny and prepares Raj to a life he deserves, but will his life-changing decision see Raj’s dream of running the marathon in the 1980 Olympics come to life?

an atlas of impossible longing
Anuradha Roy
Hachette, 2012, pp 320, 350
Outside a small town in Bengal, a family lives in solitude. Bakul runs wild with Mukunda, an orphan of unknown caste adopted by the family. As their intense closeness matures into something else, Mukunda is banished to Calcutta. He prospers in the years after Partition, but his thoughts stay with his home, with Bakul, and with all that he has lost.

the clockwork man
William Lablonsky
Westland, 2012, pp 231, 225
Karl Gruber has reached the pinnacle of his art in Ernst, a clockwork man. Ernst falls in love for his master’s daughter, Giselle. As their relationship becomes intimate, tragedy strikes. Ernst winds down as a kind of suicide. Later, he awakens in a strange new land. Ernst attempts to piece together the events that brought him to his new home.

intriguing india: the historic south
Hugh and Colleen Gantzer
Niyogi Books, 2012, pp 178, 595
Travelling around South India, the authors look beyond history. What is the link between Daroji in Karnataka and the mysterious beast that prowls the snowy wastes of the high Himalayas? Why were boulders carved as temples of varied architectural styles in an ancient port? Did an extreme rural sport in Tamil Nadu originate years ago in the Mediterranean lands?

the unfinished memoirs
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman
Penguin, 2012, pp 323, 699
Written during Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s time as a state prisoner, this book begins with his recollections of being a student activist in the movement for Pakistan in the early 1940s. They cover the Bengali language movement, the first stirrings of Bangladesh’s independence and self-rule, and convey the uncertainties as well as the hopes that dominated the time.

paradox: the nine greatest enigmas in science
Professor Jim Al-Khalili
Bantam Press, 2012, pp 234, 860
Throughout history, scientists have come up with theories that just don’t make sense. Al-Khalili
examines paradoxes that are drawn from physics and astronomy. How can a cat be both dead and alive at the same time? Why will Achilles never beat a tortoise in a race, no matter how fast he runs? And how can a person be ten years older than his twin?

the woman who flew
Nasreen Jahan
Penguin, 2012, pp 399 360
This is the story of Nina, a young woman, who moves from a small town in Bangladesh to the megacity of Dhaka, where she soon finds herself divorced, bereaved of her newborn and trapped in a mundane existence. Hungry for fresh air, Nina strikes up a friendship with her mother’s handsome ex-lover, Irfan, who encourages her to paint again. But as Nina tugs at her chains, her sexually confused ex-husband, Rezaul, insinuates himself back into her life, leaving her pregnant.

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