Book rack

 

In this novel that weaves family saga and national history, the author writes deftly of characters who battle memories and each other alike.

Balancing Act
Meera Godbole Krishnamurthy
Zubaan, 2009, pp 236, Rs 250
Meet Tara Mistri, stay-at-home mom and frustrated architect — a baker of biscuits and maker of bricks. Goaded by her own personal demon — a Yakshi who just won’t leave her alone — Tara’s struggle to balance life and love, work and play will have readers nodding in recognition, wincing in sympathy and laughing with her.

Electric Feather:
The Tranquebar of Erotic Stories
Edited by Ruchi Joshi
Tranquebar, 2009, pp 203, Rs 395
Of all human appetite, the sexual is both the least appeasable and most romanticised in literature. So here is a feast of erotica, an adulterated, edgy look at sex and passion. In the steaming pot of selections that makes up the anthology, we move from boarding school corridors, air thick with unfulfilled hunger, to a young girl’s discovery of lust amidst death; from sexual games on the night of a wedding to a journey that breaks down barriers, both sexual and physical.

The Silent One
Sujatha Vijayaraghavan
Penguin, 2009, pp 165, Rs 250
An embodiment of love, beyond power, passion and skill, forms the leitmotif around which the myriad stories in this novel are woven. Enfolding myth and canon, blurring generations, landscapes and places, this cyclical narrative, tinged with humour becomes a parable for faith in our times.

Cloud 9 Minus One
Sangeeta Mall
HarperCollins, 2009, pp 333, Rs 199
Shruti Narayan, settled in Philadelphia with her family, goes for her college reunion in Bangalore. Desperate to ensure that her family does not learn about her past escapades, yet unable to prevent herself from revisiting old memories, she is caught in a guilt whirlpool of emotions and desires, as she struggles to reconcile past and present loyalties. A take on student life and young love, this is a book on nostalgia, as well as moving on.

Ghalib At Dusk & Other Stories
Nighat M Gandhi
Tranquebar, 2009, pp 175, Rs 200
Set in cities resonant with the subcontinent’s history — Karachi, Allahabad, Ahmedabad, — these stories are about alternate lives. They are vignettes peopled by ordinary people with extraordinary sensitivities, surprising us with their outer normalcy maintained despite the idiosyncrasies of their fate.

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