Books of the week: From Avinuo Kire's The Last Light of Glory Days to Vijay Kichlu's biography, our picks

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

Aarushi Agrawal January 24, 2021 12:01:04 IST
Books of the week: From Avinuo Kire's The Last Light of Glory Days to Vijay Kichlu's biography, 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 Sunday, 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

Cages: Love and Vengeance in a Red-light District
By Aabid Surti
Penguin Random House India | Rs 399 | 208 pages

Writer Aabid Surti’s novel is set at the intersection of the 1970s’ world of prostitution in Kamathipura, the Bombay underworld, and Bollywood. It’s inspired by the true story of Kumund, a sex worker who owned her sexuality and wasn’t ashamed of her occupation, and honestly portrays the cruelties sex workers face and their power to triumph.

Read more about the book here.

The Last Light of Glory Days: Stories from Nagaland
By Avinuo Kire
Speaking Tiger Books | Rs 350 | 184 pages

Writer Avinuo Kire’s collection of short stories is set in a world where military occupation and magic coexist, where folk legends sit alongside stories of hard farm life. In one story, set against the Indo-Naga conflict, three women recount how the Naga people remained determined to hold on to normalcy. In another, everyday events are intertwined with supernatural elements of the mountains.

Read more about the book here.

– MEMOIRS and BIOGRAPHIES

A Sculptor of Talent: Vijay Kichlu: An Authorised Biography
By Meena Banerjee
Roli Books | Rs 595 | 320 pages

Writer and musicologist Meena Banerjee tells the story of Padma Shri Pandit Vijay Kumar Kichlu, from his birth in Almora to training in Varanasi. She discusses his time as a student getting a Master’s in History, navigating a career as a business executive, and planning and managing the Sangeet Research Academy. Above all, she discusses how his aim has been to be a student and devotee of this ‘Mohini Vidya’.

Read more about the book here.

Soumitra Chatterjee: A Life in Cinema, Theatre, Poetry & Painting
By Arjun Sengupta and Partha Mukherjee
Niyogi Books | Rs 1,250 | 188 pages

Teacher Arjun Sengupta and writer Partha Mukherjee tell the story of thespian and poet Soumitra Chatterjee, who’s among the best representatives of Bengali culture. The book discusses his early years, his relationships with Sisir Kumar Bhaduri and Satyajit Ray, and his versatility as an actor, analysing the most important roles of his career. It also shows how his poetry and art offer insight into his idealism.

Read more about the book here.

Enter Stage Right: The Alkazi / Padamsee Family Memoir
By Feisal Alkazi
Speaking Tiger Books | Rs 699 | 256 pages

With over 50 rare photographs, director and activist Feisal Alkazi tells the story of Indian theatre. In 1943 Bombay, Roshen Padamsee met Ebrahim Alkazi, who married in 1946, forging among the strongest theatre alliances. The book traces how they took English theatre from its early Bombay days to international acclaim, discussing Ebrahim’s time as director of the National School of Drama, the couple’s decision to open Art Heritage in Delhi, and more.

Read more about the book here.

– NON-FICTION

Advantage India: The Story of Indian Tennis
By Anindya Dutta
Westland | Rs 599 | 424 pages

Writer Anindya Dutta presents an account of the journey of Indian tennis, beginning in the late 19th century with Mohammed Sleem and SM Jacob among others. Post-independence, icons like Dilip Bose and Naresh Kumar took to the court, until in the mid-1990s Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi earned India its first Grand Slam titles. Today, players like Sania Mirza have transformed women’s tennis.

Restless in the City: Conversations with Young People in Resettlement Colonies
By Nirantar Trust
Sage Yoda Press | Rs 1,095 | 204 pages

NGO Nirantar’s book gives readers access to the unfiltered voices of young people in urban poor communities talking about their expectations from the state, personal and family relations, and more. It uncovers the deep-rooted injustice within the workforce that reinforces a sense of marginalisation. It highlights the stark difference between rural and urban youth’s relationship with technology, and the limits of agency afforded to women on the margins.

Read more about the book here.

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