Book Rack

India in Love — Marriage and sexuality in the 21st century

Ira Trivedi Aleph,
2014,
pp 416,
Rs 595

The book explores the mating habits of young Indians on college campuses and in offices and delves into history, economics and sociology to understand how the nation that gave the world the Kamasutra could have become a repressed society. 

One thousand and one nights

Hanan Al-Shaykh
Bloomsbury, 
2014, 
pp 288, 
Rs 350

These are the never-ending stories told by Shahrazad, under sentence of death, to King Shahrayar. Maddened by the discovery of his wife’s orgies, King Shahrayar vows to marry a virgin every night and kill her in the morning. To survive, his newest wife Shahrazad spins a web of tales each night, leaving the King in suspense when morning comes.

Unseen — The Truth about India’s manual scavengers

Bhasha Singh
Penguin,
2014,
pp 280,
Rs 299

In many parts of the country, the inhuman practice of manual scavenging continues to thrive in spite of a law banning it. Moreover, the people forced to carry out this degrading work remain invisible to the rest of us. The author turns the spotlight on this ignored community.

Rabindranth Tagore for the 21st century reader

Translated by Arunava Sinha
Aleph, 
2014, 
pp 461, 
Rs 595

Keeping the 21st century reader firmly in mind, this volume brings together some of Tagore’s most celebrated works. This selection of Tagore’s fiction, poetry, lyrics and drama is evidence of his position as one of the world’s greatest writers and reinforces the enduring nature of his words, emotions and beliefs.

Courtesans, Bar girls & dancing boys: The illicit world of indian dance

Anna Morcom 
Hachette, 
2014, 
pp 286, 
Rs 595

Professional female performers were courtesans and dancing girls who were often powerful figures in social and cultural life. Since the late 19th century, the status, livelihood and identity of these performers have all diminished. Anna Morcom investigates the emergence of the illicit worlds of dance.

Panty

Sangeeta Bandopadhyay,
translated by Arunava Sinha
Penguin, 
2014, 
pp 260, 
Rs 499

When a mysterious young woman arrives in Calcutta and moves into a guest house, she finds in an otherwise empty wardrobe a silky panty in leopard-skin print. She thinks the woman who wore it must have possessed a wild sexual nature. A feeling of companionship envelops her.

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