Book Rack

Book Rack

Known Turf: Bantering with Bandits & Other True Tales

Annie Zaidi
Tranquebar, 2010, pp 280, Rs 250

Zaidi combines reportage with a personal narrative that goes into places we may know of, but very rarely visit. However, it is the stories of humble folk — tortured by hunger, discriminated against for reasons of caste, or gender — that linger. Whether it is banditry or developing a personal philosophy through tea, this is a book that will engage and shock you.

Traitor
Shobhasakthi, Translated by Anushiya Ramaswamy
Penguin, 2010, pp 231, Rs 399

Nirami, Nesakumaran’s 14-year-old daughter, is awaiting her abortion in the hospital room of an unnamed European city; she refuses to name her rapist. A stark rhetoric of torture, pain and black humour, Traitor, through its pathologically damaged protagonist, gives voice to the testimonies of refugees of war-ravaged Sri Lanka.

An Endless Winter’s Night: An Anthology of Mother-Daughter Stories
Edited by Ira Raja & Kay Souter
Women Unlimited, 2010, pp 304, Rs 375

This collection of short stories and poems from various Indian languages reframes the mother-daughter relationship a a significant issue for women’s writing from India. This anthology foregrounds the critical significance of this relationship, and calls upon feminist scholarship in India to put the mother-daughter relationship front and centre, to permit new insight into what it means to be female in contemporary India.

Braking News
Sunetra Choudhury
Hachette, 2010, pp 310, Rs 350

For two months prior to the general election in May 2009, NDTV anchor and TV reporter Sunetra Choudhury, along with her colleague Naghma Sahar, clambered onto a bus equipped with some Club Class seating, the requisite machinery to beam out live from the remotest parts of India, and a miniscule crew of two cameramen, an engineer and a driver. Part election special, part candid confessions, part a nation-wide quest for a clean loo — this is a woman’s quest to find out which way India would vote.

Vermillion Clouds: A Century of Women’s
Stories From Bengal
Translated by Radha Chakravarty
Women Unlimited, 2010, pp 231, Rs 350

The social, cultural and literary landscape of women’s writing in Bengal has seen a major transformation over the last 100 years. A variety of themes is present in this anthology as it grapples with, among other things, same-sex love, business entrepreneurship, love outside marriage, and the death of parents.

Sprint of the Blackbuck: Writings on Wildlife and Conservation in South India
Edited by S Theodore Baskaran
Penguin, 2010, pp 223, Rs 299

The articles in this collection are under four main sections: wildlife, habitats, conservation issues and documenting wildlife. Brimming with perceptive insights, the essays range from M Krishnan’s engaging account of the vanishing sloth bear to Janaki Lenin’s  compelling narration of her experiences living on the edge of a stretch of scrubland. A rich collection that will delight wildlife enthusiasts!

Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance
Approach to Punctuation
Lynne Truss
HarperCollins, 2010, pp 209, Rs 199

Anxious about apostrophe? Confused by the comma? Or just plain stumped by the semi-colon? Truss, self confessed punctuation stickler, in this impassioned and hilarious tour through the rules of punctuation.

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