Books of the week: From Love Letters from Golok to Manjima Bhattacharjya Intimate City, our picks

Our weekly roundup of books that should be on your radar.

Aarushi Agrawal March 29, 2021 09:25:52 IST
Books of the week: From Love Letters from Golok to Manjima Bhattacharjya Intimate City, our picks

We love stories, and even in the age of Netflix-and-chill, there's nothing like a good book that promises a couple of hours of absorption — whether curled up in bed, in your favourite coffeehouse, or that long (and tiresome) commute to work. Every week, we'll have a succinct pick of books, across diverse genres, that have been newly made available for your reading pleasure. Get them wherever you get your books — the friendly neighbourhood bookseller, e-retail website, chain store — and in whatever form you prefer. Happy reading!

For more of our weekly book recommendations, click here.

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– FICTION

The Four Winds
By Kristin Hannah
Pan Macmillan India | Rs 599 | 464 pages

Bestselling author Kristin Hannah’s novel follows Elsa Martinelli, living in 1934 Texas, whose livelihood on a Great Plains farm is threatened by a drought. She finds her husband has fled and is forced to choose between fighting for the land she loves or taking her children west to California in search of better prospects.

Read more about the book here.

– POETRY

Witnesses of Remembrance: Selected Newer Poems
By Kunwar Narain; translated by Apurva Narain
Westland | Rs 499 | 304 pages

Apurva Narain translates his father Kunwar Narain’s (1927-2017) Hindi poetry into English, collating selected poems from his five latest collections. Among the country’s foremost poets and thinkers, his writing explores different worlds, bringing out their bizarreness, finding the disquiet in their silences, discovering the hope hidden between lines, and creating entire perspectives and worldviews in their entirety.

– MEMOIRS, BIOGRAPHIES, and LETTERS

Love Letters from Golok: A Tantric Couple in Modern Tibet
Edited by Holly Gayley
HarperCollins India | Rs 499 | 416 pages

University of Colorado’s Associate Professor Holly Gayley edits a collection of 56 letters recording the courtship between two Buddhist tantric masters, Tare Lhamo (1938-2002) and Namtrul Rinpoche (1944-2011), and their shared interest in reinvigorating Buddhism in Eastern Tibet in the post-Mao era. Exchanged between 1978 and 1980, they bring together tantric imagery in poetry and folk songs, also exploring how Tibetan literary genres have developed over time.

Read more about the book here.

Brown Baby: A Memoir of Race, Family and Home
By Nikesh Shukla
Pan Macmillan India | Rs 650 | 256 pages

Author Nikesh Shukla’s memoir explores racism, feminism, parenting, changing ideas of home, and more. In remembrance of his grandmother and dedicated to his two daughters, the book, through themes of love, food, fatherhood, and grief, shows how it's possible to find hope even amidst a world that’s racist, sexist, and facing a climate emergency.

Read more about the book here.

The Banker Who Crushed His Diamonds: The Yes Bank Story
By Furquan Moharkan
Penguin Random House India | Rs 350 | 210 pages

Journalist Furquan Moharkan tells the story of Rana Kapoor, who cofounded YES Bank in 2004 along with Ashok Kapur, investigating the role he played in the rise and fall of the bank. From stepping down as managing director in 2018 to selling his entire stake in the bank the next year and the RBI taking control of the bank in 2020, the book traces the story of one of the country’s biggest banking failures.

Read more about the book here.

– NON-FICTION

Royals and Rebels: The Rise and Fall of the Sikh Empire
By Priya Atwal
HarperCollins India | Rs 799 | 304 pages

Historian Priya Atwal explores the live of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, whose Sikh empire spread throughout northwestern India into Afghanistan and Tibet. She also looks at the queens and princes, bringing to life a self-made ruling family, tracing their rise and eventual fall due to gendered family politics, parallel to the Sikh Empire falling to a new rival in India, the British.

Read more about the book here.

Intimate City
By Manjima Bhattacharjya
Zubaan Books | Rs 420 | 240 pages

Feminist researcher Manjima Bhattacharjya examines how globalisation and technology have changed where and how sexual commerce is transacted. From changing red light areas to the world of escort services, massage boys and men in search of casual encounters cruising the internet, the book maps offline and online geographies of sex work and unearths voices never heard before, understanding how the internet has re-configured intimacies in the digital age.

Read more about the book here. Read an excerpt from the book here.

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