Books of the week: From Kaajal Oza Vaidya's Krishnayan to Manada Devi’s An Educated Woman in Prostitution, our picks

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

Aarushi Agrawal February 01, 2021 12:07:04 IST
Books of the week: From Kaajal Oza Vaidya's Krishnayan to Manada Devi’s An Educated Woman in Prostitution, 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

Krishnayan
By Kaajal Oza Vaidya; translated by Subha Pande
Eka | Rs 499 | 270 pages

Subha Pande translates author and journalist Kaajal Oza Vaidya’s novel, among Gujarati literature’s biggest bestsellers. It starts when Krishna has been injured by Jara’s arrow, and offers glimpses into his last moments on earth. The most important women in his life – Radha, Rukmini, Satyabhama, and Draupadi – appear before him, and the narrative is interspersed with what they mean to him.

Skyfall
By Saba Karim Khan
Bloomsbury India | Rs 599 | 264 pages

Writer Saba Karim Khan’s debut novel follows Rania, born in Heera Mandi, Lahore’s red-light district. A tour guide and classical singer, each day she witnesses her madrassa-running father sell her mother’s body and beat her sister. Yet, she remains a ‘troublemaker’ who is unwilling to give up her dreams. Even as a music contest gives wings to her dreams, taking her to the US, a family secret threatens to bring back her Heera Mandi life.

Read more about the book here.

– MEMOIRS and BIOGRAPHIES

An Educated Woman in Prostitution: A Memoir of Lust, Exploitation, Deceit
By Manada Devi; translated by Arunava Sinha
Simon & Schuster India | Rs 399 | 176 pages

Arunava Sinha translates Manada Devi’s autobiography, who details her life story, from a wealthy upbringing to a life of prostitution after eloping with her married lover in her mid-teens. As she struggles with illness, poverty, and abandonment, she emerges as capable, carving a niche for herself in her profession, and here laying down the exploitation and empowerment inherent in her life.

Read more about the book here.

The Bawla Murder Case: Love, Lust and Crime in Colonial India
By Dhaval Kulkarni
HarperCollins India | Rs 399 | 272 pages

Journalist Dhaval Kulkarni details a century-old investigation, a milestone in the history of the Mumbai Police. On 12 January 1925, Abdul Kader Bawla, among the richest men in colonial Bombay, was murdered while out with his mistress Mumtaz Begum. The objective of the attack was to abduct Mumtaz. Investigations revealed a link between the crime and the princely state of Indore, leading to the abdication of Indore’s Maharaja Tukojirao Holkar III.

Read more about the book here.

– NON-FICTION

Wild and Wilful
By Neha Sinha
HarperCollins India | Rs 599 | 240 pages

Wildlife conservationist Neha Sinha talks about 15 iconic Indian species, from the Royal Bengal Tiger to elephants and the Plain Tiger Butterfly, in need of conservation. She explores what they need and how they exert agency and decision-making. She also drives home the idea that wild animals exist beyond human control, that we are part of the world and not owners of it, and that wild animals require acceptance for what they are, not enslavement for what we want them to be.

Read more about the book here.

BR Ambedkar: The Quest for Justice: Volumes I – V
Edited by Aakash Singh Rathore
Oxford University Press India | 1456 pages

Author Aakash Singh Rathore edits this five-volume collection of papers exploring the major themes of research surrounding the oeuvre of Dr BR Ambedkar, providing a summary of the state of Ambedkar studies internationally, and highlighting research trends about and inspired by Ambedkar. The volumes focus respectively on political justice, social justice, legal and economic justice, gender and racial justice, and religious and cultural justice.

Read more about the book here.

– YOUNG READERS

Sinbad and the Trumpet of Israfil
By Kevin Missal
Penguin Random House India | Rs 250 | 336 pages

Bestselling author Kevin Missal’s novel is a retelling of the story of Sinbad, the fabled sailor from One Thousand and One Nights, who faces several fearsome mythological monsters. It details how before he came to be known as the world’s greatest sailor, he was a young monster hunter who fell in love. As things go increasingly wrong, he is left with seven days in which to save the world and kill the only girl he has ever loved.

Read more about the book here.

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