Books to look forward to next year

Books to look forward to next year

With so many new releases lined up for 2022, here are a few that got us rubbing our hands in anticipation.

Representative Images. Credit: iStock Photo

There’s fiction, nonfiction, biographies, memoirs, and children’s books — all in here. As always, in no particular order — the only criteria being whatever that piqued my interest. And yes, I have judged the books by their cover, their blurb, the author, and my instincts. The outlook is eclectic and one suspects the trend of writing about oneself or turning the pages back on Indian history, whether it is fiction or truth or a bit of both, will persist well into the next year. Happy reading!


K R Meera and Nisha
Susan (translator)

As the foundations are laid for a temple to rise on the site of Babri Masjid in Ayodhya, voices rise from the ground in a small town in central Kerala. She is a judge in a district court, and he is a petitioner in a seemingly banal property dispute. But the very first hearing tosses the judge’s life into disarray. In this illusory landscape are the hard truths about the intertwined histories of Hindus and Muslims in India, as well as the chasms between men and women. 


Neil Gaiman

An elderly widow buys what turns out to be the Holy Grail from a second-hand shop, setting her off on an epic adventure with a knight who brings her gifts of ancient relics in the hope of winning the cup. From the award-winning creators, Neil Gaiman and Colleen Doran, comes this new graphic novel that promises to be delightfully humourous and charming. 


Upamanyu Chatterjee

The master of the art of black humour and satire in an avatar we have not seen before — a crime writer. This new novel of his promises to incorporate all the ingredients a good thriller should have: a body in a park, a delinquent teenager with a passion for gambling and meddling with his father’s gun, and a courtroom drama that has a most unexpected ending. The question, of course, is will truth and justice prevail in this story where everyone is a villain?

Let Me Hijack Your Mind

Alyque Padamsee

The late Alyque Padamsee invites us to re-examine and think afresh about some of our most deeply held beliefs, from love, marriage, terrorism, leadership, money, gender, faith to education. This is Alyque’s parting gift to Indians, exhorting them to throw out the old and embrace new ways of approaching everything.

Rebels Against the Raj

Ramachandra Guha

This tells the little-known story of seven people who chose to struggle for a country other than their own: foreigners to India who, from the late 19th century, arrived to join the freedom movement fighting for independence. 


Akshaya Mukul

Sachidanand Hiranand Vatsyayan Agyeya is arguably the most meditative poet-writer of 20th century India. A complex man and a literary giant, and deeply involved with the social politics of the time, he was both worshipped and reviled for his unconventional views and unorthodox personal life. This biography is as much an account of the life of an important figure from Indian history as it is a slantwise look at the history of a newly independent India itself.

100 Great Chronicles of Indian History

Gayathri Ponvannan

Dip into an adventurer’s diary to find out what it was like to spend a day at the Mughal court. Refer to a centuries-old guidebook for stage performance tips. Marvel at the exquisite illustrations adorning the pages of a conqueror’s scrapbook. These invaluable relics offer rare glimpses and insights into events that shaped the course of India’s kaleidoscopic journey.

The Birth Of A Nation

Josy Joseph

In an unprecedented historical investigative undertaking, renowned investigative journalist Josy Joseph and his team have collected tens of thousands of historic documents that will feed into a breakthrough publishing project that examines how the Indian nation came to be.

Everything The Light Touches

Janice Pariat

This is an ambitious, elegant, multilayered work that interweaves a quartet of journeys across continents and centuries. Drawing richly from scientific and botanical ideas, the novel plunges into a whirl of ever-expanding themes: the contrasts between modern India and its colonial past; capitalism, and centuries-old traditions of generosity and gratitude.

The Kailash Temple at Ellora

Tilottama Shome

Go on a journey right back into the time of gods and demons, kings and queens, and when an awe-inspiring work of art was brought to life on stone. Filled with photographs and illustrations, it brings to life this magnificent example of art and architecture for a young reader.


T D Ramakrishnan

Twelve people accompany an anthropologist to a deserted island, cutting off all relations with the outside world. There, an experiment begins. They are not to use any known languages and must begin anew – to explore and find out if they can achieve in 25 years what humanity has achieved over generations.

My Pen is the Wing of a Bird

Multiple Authors

This promises to be a landmark collection: the first anthology of short fiction by Afghan women. Eighteen writers tell stories that are both unique and universal — stories of family, work, childhood, friendship, war, gender identity, and cultural traditions.

The Blue Book

Amitava Kumar

This is the author’s urgent artistic response to our present world — a world that bestows upon us, love and loss, travel through diverse landscapes, deaths from a virus, a flood of fake news, and if we care to notice, visions of blazing beauty. This writer’s journal is a panoramic portrait of the experience, both individual and collective, of the pandemic.


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