A memoir, movies and Pakistan, print that matters (IANS Books This Week)September 23rd, 2010 - 12:38 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Sep 23 (IANS) Live through the last lap of monsoon with a collection of powerful stories - both fact and fiction. Surf the week’s list:
1. “No Way Home”; Written by Amarjit Sidhu; Published by Penguin-Books India; Priced at Rs.299
The novel is set in Punjab of the early 1980s. As separatists and the government threaten the peace of the land, another group of more affluent feudals looks West to escape. Away from all this, Dave, a young Sikh, is searching for a place that he can call home. Unable to complete his Phd in US, he returns home to be trapped in the horrific massacre of the Sikhs in 1984. Scarred, he moves to Canada where he is faced with choices that will change his life forever.
2. “Hitch 22″; Written by Christopher Hitchens; Published by Penguin-Books; Priced; Rs.599
Over the last 30 years, Christopher Hitchens has established himself as one of the world’s most influential public intellectuals. In this long-awaited memoir, Hitchens re-traces the footsteps of his life to date, from his childhood in Portsmouth with his adoring, tragic mother and reserved naval officer father, to his life in Washington DC, the base from which he would launch fierce attacks on tyranny of all kinds. Along the way, he recalls the girls, boys and booze, the friendships and the feuds, the grand struggles and lost causes, and the mistakes and misgivings that have characterised his life.
“Hitch-22″ is, by turns, moving and funny, charming and infuriating, enraging and inspiring. It is an indispensable companion to the life and thought of our pre-eminent political writer.
3. Book: “Manasarovar”; Written by Ashokamitran/Translated from Tamil by N. Kalyan Raman; Published by Penguin Books; Priced at Rs.225
In the 1960s, known as the golden age of Indian cinema, screen icon Satyan Kumar migrates to Chennai from Mumbai. He meets Gopalan, a middling scriptwriter. An inexplicable bond forms between the two across the divide of class and language. Gopalan’s son dies and his wife’s dementia acquires homicidal overtones. Both men flounder as they try to reconcile with pain and sorrow - and finally the need for redemption in a canvas that bustles with a cast as diverse as Pandit Nehru and the silent mystic Meher Baba.
4. Book: “Beautiful From This Angle”; Written by Maha Khan; Published by Penguin-India; Priced at Rs.350
Amynah Farooqui writes “Party Queen on the Scene”, a weekly anonymous gossip column for a Karachi magazine. Amynah makes no apologies for her life of casual sex and recreational drugs. She is just the polar opposite of her best friends Mumtaz and Henna, who she wishes would lighten up - especially Mumtaz who is too uptight to be the daughter of a drug baron. When party animal Monty Mohsin makes a money-spinning reality show, “Who Wants To Be a Terrorist”, it triggers a slew of projects to cash in on the trend and a chain of events that tear the friends apart. Tragedy strikes and the lives are lost in the melee forever.
5. Book: “Granta 112: Pakistan”; Edited by John Freeman; Published by Penguin Books-India; Priced at Rs.599
Packed with 200 million people speaking nearly 60 languages, Pakistan is one of the most vibrant places in the world today. “Granta 112: Pakistan” brings to life the landscape and culture of the country in fiction, reportage, memoir, travelogue and poetry. Like the journal’s issues on India and Australia, the issue celebrates the talent which has burst onto the English language publishing world from Pakistan in recent years.
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Tags: boys and booze, christopher hitchens, cinema screen, fact and fiction, feuds, indian cinema, indispensable companion, kalyan, last lap, manasarovar, misgivings, penguin books india, political writer, public intellectuals, screen icon, scriptwriter, separatists, sidhu, sikh, sikhs