Books of the week: From Perumal Murugan's Estuary to Mary L Trump’s Too Much and Never Enough, our picks

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

Aarushi Agrawal July 19, 2020 10:25:01 IST
Books of the week: From Perumal Murugan's Estuary to Mary L Trump’s Too Much and Never Enough, 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

Estuary
By Perumal Murugan; translated by Nandini Krishnan
Westland | Rs 499 | 256 pages

Translated by Nandini Krishnan, critically acclaimed Tamil author Perumal Murugan’s novel follows Kumarasurar. Late one night, his teenage son calls him with a simple demand, which torments him as he worries about his finances, and his son’s life. As his anxieties unravel, the book touches upon various contemporary issues, from loneliness to the monotony of an office job and the struggles of the salaried middle-class who want to give their children the best.

Memory of Light
By Ruth Vanita
Penguin Random House India | Rs 398 | 224 pages

Author and teacher Ruth Vanita’s book is set in Lucknow, where preparations for the 50th birthday of King George III are in full swing. As performers and poets converge, Chapla Bai, a courtesan from Kashi, sweeps the poet Nafis Bai off her feet. Over two summers, the duo, aided by Nafis’ friends, exchange letters and verses, exalting in mutual desire. Can their relationship survive the distances between cities?

Read more about the book here.

The Collected Plays Volume One: Blood and Laughter
By Manjula Padmanabhan
Hachette India | Rs 499 | 384 pages

Award-winning playwright Manjula Padmanabhan’s works are collected in two volumes, with new introductions that reaffirm their contemporary relevance.

The first volume includes her full-length plays, from the cinematised Lights Out to the previously unpublished Mating Game Show and Artist’s Model, and the popular Harvest, all touching upon morality, relationships, and the idea of justice.

Read more about the book here and here.

The Collected Plays Volume Two: Laughter and Blood
By Manjula Padmanabhan
Hachette India | Rs 399 | 224 pages

The second volume of Padmanabhan’s works includes her short performance pieces, among them The Sextet, Ladies’ Night, Hidden Fires, and Blind Date.

Read more about the book here.

– MEMOIRS and BIOGRAPHIES

Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man
By Mary L Trump
Simon & Schuster | Rs 699 | 240 pages

Clinical psychologist and Donald Trump’s niece Mary L Trump tells the story of their family history, explaining how her uncle became the man he is. Growing up in her grandparents’ home with Donald and his siblings, she recalls holiday meals and interactions, shares anecdotes about specific events, details general family patters, and describes the trauma, destructive relationships, neglect and abuse she witnessed.

Read more about the book here.

– NON-FICTION

Inside the Tablighi Jamaat
By Ziya Us Salam
HarperCollins India | Rs 399 | 256 pages

Writer and editor Ziya Us Salam takes readers inside India’s largest Islamic organisation, the Tablighi Jamaat, which also became the focus of one of the hotspots for the coronavirus earlier this year. The author details how its members attend retreats in local mosques and at times, the Markaz in Delhi, of their own free will and at their own expense. And how Tabligh steadfastly refuses to take a political stance, telling members to focus on introspection in isolation, paving the path to spiritual upliftment.

Read more about the book here.

Love Is Not a Word: The Culture and Politics of Desire
Edited by Debotri Dhar
Speaking Tiger | Rs 399 | 232 pages

Edited by author and teacher Debotri Dhar, the book is a collection of 12 essays on love and desire. It offers historical and cultural perspective on Indian love, from the swayamvara to arranged marriages and desi romances. It discusses the politics of love, from the love jihad campaign to interreligious marriage and a critique of the savarna gaze and its meaning for Dalit women. It looks at India’s legal battle to decriminalise same-sex love, and analyses portrayals of love in literature.

Read more about the book here.

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