Books of the week: From Anukrti Upadhyay's Kintsugi to Nisha PR’s Jumbos and Jumping Devils, our picks

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

Aarushi Agrawal August 17, 2020 09:45:16 IST
Books of the week: From Anukrti Upadhyay's Kintsugi to Nisha PR’s Jumbos and Jumping Devils, 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

Kintsugi
By Anukrti Upadhyay
HarperCollins India | Rs 499 | 224 pages

Writer Anukrti Upadhyay’s novel Kintsugi, named after the ancient Japanese art of using gold to mend broken objects, focuses on young women who are breaking boundaries and challenging social order. There’s the rebellious Meena and complex Yuri, the outsider Hajime, and Prakash, who has a limited perspective. Set between Japan and Jaipur, the novel follows the lives of these and more characters as they intersect and diverge.

Read more about the book here.

What's Wrong with You, Karthik?
By Siddhartha Vaidyanathan
Pan Macmillan India | Rs 599 | 288 pages

Writer Siddhartha Vaidyanathan’s debut novel follows 12-year-old Karthik, who has just been granted admission into St George’s, an elite boys’ school in Bangalore. As he yearns for recognition as being academically brilliant, he finds himself facing unanticipated challenges, like the cruelties of school life and the transition into adolescence.

Read more about the book here.

– SHORT STORY COLLECTIONS

The Women Who Forgot to Invent Facebook and Other Stories
By Nisha Susan
Context | Rs 499 | 232 pages

Writer and journalist Nisha Susan’s debut short story collection focuses on the impact of the internet on the lives of Indians over the past two decades. There’s the classical musician who finds a prince in a chat room. In Kochi, three dancers plan their sex lives over email. In Mumbai, a young wife is obsessed with the online relics of a dead woman. A cook is worried because of her daughter’s phone conversations; while a young mother gets the job of monitoring disturbing content for a social media platform.

– POETRY COLLECTIONS

The World That Belongs To Us: An Anthology of Queer Poetry from South Asia
Edited by Aditi Angiras and Akhil Katyal
HarperCollins India | Rs 599 | 240 pages

Edited by poet and translator Akhil Katyal and spoken word poet Aditi Angiras, this anthology brings together contemporary queer South Asian poetry. Poets include Hoshang Merchant, Ruth Vanita, Kazim Ali, and Rajiv Mohabir, among others. Thematically, the poetry ranges desire, loneliness, sexual intimacy and struggles, activism, caste and language, the role of family, and more. The book celebrates the diversity, politics, and ethics of South Asian queer life.

Read more about the book here.

– NON-FICTION

The RSS: And the Making of the Deep Nation
By Dinesh Narayanan
Penguin Random House India | Rs 599 | 344 pages

Journalist Dinesh Narayanan’s book relies on research, interviews and analysis of current events to trace the roots of the RSS and follow its almost century-long work to achieve ideological dominance in a country known for its diversity. It focuses on understanding the RSS’ organisational skills, militant discipline, and quest for political influence as political power today stands firmly in its favour.

Read more about the book here.

Jumbos and Jumping Devils: A Social History of Indian Circus
By Nisha PR
Oxford University Press India | Rs 1,195 | 320 pages

In this book, researcher Nisha PR explores the social history of the circus in India over the last 150 years. Stories range from the evolution of circus acrobatics in the early 20th century to legal battles following the ban of wild animals and children from the circus in the 21st century. Along with extensive fieldwork and interviews, she uses memorabilia like photos, notices, posters, letters, diaries, and more to construct the story of the Indian circus.

Read more about the book here.

Muscular India: Masculinity, Mobility & the New Middle Class
By Michiel Baas
Context | Rs 699 | 328 pages

Anthropologist Michiel Baas has spent a decade studying gyms, trainers, and bodybuilders, and considers them a new lens through which to investigate India. Gyms, while catering largely to well-off clients, are also spaces of upward mobility for trainers and specialists, as they learn English, change their dressing style, and try to better understand their clients’ lifestyles; a break from the masculinity represented by pehlwans in akharas. But class barriers remain, and the profession is riddled with challenges and contradictions.

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