Partition, terror and women on book shelf (IANS BOOKS THIS WEEK)

April 14th, 2012 - 3:06 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, April 14 (IANS) The book shelf this weekend is a pile of serious narratives - both fiction and non-fiction. Browse with IANS…

Book: “A Life Long Ago (Dayamoyeer Katha)”; Written by Sunando Sikdar/Translated by Anchita Ghatak; Published by Penguin India; Priced Rs.250

Barely 12 years old, Dayamoyee watches with bewilderment as her village, Dighpait, begins to change and people she knows and loves pack their belongings and leave. India has been partitioned, and Dighpait has now become part of a new country: (East) Pakistan.

Forced to leave her beloved house and her friends, especially Majam, Dayamoyee resolves never to mention what they have left behind. And so, from childhood to adulthood, from adulthood to middle age, she never speaks of Dighpait. And then, in the early 1990s she hears of Majam’s death and the floodgates of memory open. She remembers her days in Bangladesh.

Book: “The Terrorist: Has Pain Made Him a Deadly Weapon”; Written by Juggi Bhasin; Published by Penguin India; Priced Rs.250

The book is a journey into the lives of two young men, both torn with their own doubts and demons within, in a clash that spins across the dust bowls of India and Pakistan, the killing fields of Kashmir and the vulnerable city of Delhi. It is also the story of a young woman whose intensity and belief make her stand out as a woman protagonist. Suvir and Murad - both victims of circumstances - choose to do things differently. One crosses into Pakistan to become a terrorist and the other becomes a counter-terror operative in the special forces. When one plans to attack Delhi, the other one is called to foil the attack.

Book: “Begum Bano Aur Khatoon (Hindi)”; Written by Rama Pandey; Published by Vijaya Books; Priced Rs.210

The anthology of selected real life stories of Muslim women from modest and traditional background features stories of courage and determination to fight for rights and privileges. It is one of the seven-part series by the writer who has worked among marginlaised Muslim women and helped them deal with social demons and lack of opportunities.

Book: “Everything Begins Elsewhere (Poetry)”; Written by Tishani Doshi; Published by Harper-Collins India; Priced Rs.299

In this, her first collection of poetry since the award-winning “Countries of the Body”, Doshi returns to the body as a central theme, but extends beyond the corporeal to challenge the more metaphysical borders of space and time. These new poems are powerful meditations born on the joineries of life and death, union and separation, memory and dream, where lovers speak to each other across the centuries, and daughters wander into their mothers’ childhoods. As much about loss as they are about reclamation, Doshi’s poems guide us through an “underworld of longing and deliverance”.

Book: “Difficult Pleasures”; Written by Anjum Hasan; Published by Penguin India; Priced Rs.399

A solitary economist drives from France to Sweden to try and redeem a tragedy; a boy fervently hopes his father will not miss his appearance in a school play; a painter on the way to Europe is about to board the wrong flight; a village boy leaves school for the bright lights of Bangalore; a man tries to stop time. Wry, tender, borderline surreal, “Difficult Pleasures” is a collection of stories about the need to escape and the longing to belong. Accomplished, ambitious and full of surprises, this is a masterful collection.

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