Fiction

The Girl Who Couldn't Love


By Shinie Antony


An introverted, middle-aged spinster, Roo, or Rudrakshi Sen, lives with her mother and teaches English at a local school. Roo?s mother, semi-blind and a chronic invalid, lives most of the time in an imaginary world where she turns the grief of her husband?s death and their bizarre relationship into the belief that theirs was a happy, conventional marriage. Roo cultivates an aloof manner and distances herself from close relationships to stave off memories of her childhood and of Eeedee, the girl who entered her life as a six-year-old and left as a teenager?after one night that was to haunt and shape both their adult lives.
When Kumar, a man much younger than her, enters Roo?s life out of nowhere, she is intensely attracted to him?an attraction she believes is reciprocal. She begins an affair with this mysterious stranger, knowing that all affairs end messily. It is her secrets she wants to shield. But her secrets and this man are inextricably linked... Shinie Antony?s sparse yet evocative prose gives strength to this haunting tale of twisted relationships.


About the Author: Shinie Antony has written the short story collections, The Orphanage for Words and Barefoot and Pregnant, and the novels, When Mira Went Forth and Multiplied and A Kingdom for His Love. She has compiled the anthology, Why We Don?t Talk. Co-founder of the Bangalore Literature Festival and director of the Bengaluru Poetry Festival, she won the Commonwealth Short Story Asia region prize in 2003 for her story ?A Dog?s Death?.

 
 

A House Without Windows


By Nadia Hashimi


If Zeba had been a woman less ordinary, Kamal might have seen it coming a gnawing feeling or at least a few hairs standing on end. But she gave him no warning, no reason to believe that she would be anything more than she had been for the last two decades. She was a loving wife, a patient mother, a peaceful villager. She did nothing to draw to attention to herself. But now, nothing would be ordinary again.


Zeba, an ordinary Afghan housewife and mother of four, has been arrested for murder after her husband, Kamal is found brutally murdered with a hatchet in the courtyard of their home. Nearly catatonic with shock, Zeba is unable to account for her whereabouts when he met his end. Her children swear their mother couldn't have done it. Kamal's family is sure she did and demand justice. Barely escaping a vengeful mob, the ordinary Afghan housewife winds up in a women's prison awaiting trial. There she meets a group of other women whose paths have led them to the same bleak cells - 18 Year old Nafisa, caught sharing a meal with a teenage boy,imprisoned to protect her from the ""honor killing"" her father demands, 25 year old Latifa, a teen runaway in a leather jacket who first landed in prison for vagrancy but has stayed because it offers better shelter than the world outside, 20 year old Mezghan, pregnant with her lover's child, awaiting a court order that will force him to marry her. The younger women all wonder if Zeba really is a cold - blooded killer, or if her husband somehow deserved his fate, or if, like them, she's been imprisoned for transgressing some rule of society without actually breaking a law. For them, prison is as much a haven as a punishment and the sisterhood they form inside is as lively and unexpected as the world outside is harsh and unforgiving.


Yusuf is the lawyer assigned to represent Zeba. Born in Kabul, his family fled Afghanistan when he was 11, eventually landing in Queens, where he worked his way through college and then law school. A passion for human rights and a desire to help his beloved homeland, sends him back to Afghanistan, hoping to help patch together a functioning legal system after the fall of the Taliban. Now the fate of an accused murderer - A seemingly ordinary housewife is in his hands and Yusuf is discovering that, like the Afghanistan he thought he knew, Zeba and her story may not be at all what he expected.


 
 

The Great Derangement: Climate Change


By Amitav Ghosh


Are we deranged? One of India's greatest writers, Amitav Ghosh, argues that future generations may well think so. How else can we explain our imaginative failure in the face of global warming? In this groundbreaking return to non-fiction, Ghosh examines our inability - at the level of literature, history, and politics - to grasp the scale and violence of climate change. The extreme nature of today's climate events makes them peculiarly resistant to the contemporary imagination.


In fiction, hundred-year storms and freakish tornadoes simply feel too improbable for the novel and are automatically consigned to other genres. In the writing of history, too, the climate crisis has sometimes led to gross simplifications. Ghosh suggests that politics, much like literature, has become a matter of personal moral reckoning rather than an arena of collective action. But to limit culture and politics to individual moral adventure comes at a great cost. The climate crisis asks us to imagine other forms of human existence - a task to which fiction, Ghosh argues, is the best suited of all forms. The Great Derangement serves as a brilliant writer's summons to confront the most urgent task of our time.


About the Author: Amitav Ghosh is an award-winning novelist and essayist whose books include The Circle of Reason, The Shadow Lines, In an Antique Land, Dancing in Cambodia, The Calcutta Chromosome, The Glass Palace, The Hungry Tide and the Ibis Trilogy: Sea of Poppies, River of Smoke and Flood of Fire.


 
 

The Dalai Lama's Cat


By David Michie


Being The Dalai Lama's Cat is a privilege as the cat readily admits. But her early days were not so fortunate. A litter of beautiful Himalayan kittens is discovered by some street children in New Delhi. They decide that the little creatures can make them some money. They quickly manage to sell all the kittens but one, the tiniest and weakest of the lot. The little kitten gets dropped into a mud puddle and ends up being wrapped up in a newspaper.


Fortunately for the kitten, the Dalai Lama, on his way home from the airport, watches the incident and sends his attendant to buy the little creature from the boys. Thus begins the life of the little kitten as His Holiness’s fond companion. She now lives a pampered life, being admired and petted by celebrities as well as regular visitors who come to see the Dalai Lama. Fondly called “bodhicatva” by the Dalai Lama, she is privy to all his affairs as she lies regally in his room and observes visitors as they come and go. In the process, she also tries to imbibe the wisdom he imparts to the people who come to him, in order to be worthy of the privilege of being His Holiness’s cat.


In The Dalai Lama's Cat: A Novel, she shares some of these lessons that she learnt with the reader, as she talks about her life and times as the well loved feline inhabitant of the Dalai Lama’s home. The author has done a delightful job of blending the feline psyche with the wisdom of Buddhism. The Dalai Lama's Cat: A Novel shares many nuggets of His Holiness’s conversations with visitors, in the middle of a lot of native feline perspectives on life.


 
 

Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Novels and Stories Volume I


By Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Sir


The first novel, A Study in Scarlet, introduces us to the detective genius of Sherlock Holmes and establishes the Watson-Holmes relationship that extends throughout the series. Starting off as roommates purely for the sake of convenience, Watson soon becomes Holmes’ most trusted confidante and friend, accompanying him on all his cases. In Doyle’s second novel,The Sign Of Four, Watson embarks on a matrimonial alliance and moves out. Subsequent to the two novels are a series of 36 short stories, including The Adventure of the Speckled Band, The Musgrave Ritual, and The Five Orange Pips, founded on miscellaneous themes, from murder mysteries to love intrigues, blackmail, kidnappers, beasts and monsters, etc.


As the stories were initially featured in magazines, the chronology of events is slightly ambiguous. Many of the stories are narrated as Watson’s reminiscences of his sleuthing days with Holmes prior to his marriage, but quite unexpectedly, Watson moves back in with Holmes with no allusion to his wife. The Final Problem intended as Holmes last case, ends with the death of Sherlock Holmes. Sir Arthur’s desire regarding the end of the great detective, however, had to be abandoned due to public disquiet, and thus Holmes was resurrected in The Adventures of the Empty House.


Published in 1986 by Random House Publishing Group, the book has good print and a very clear typset. Sherlock Holmes stories have been popular for decades and have received laudatory reviews world over.


 
 

Relativity : The Special and The General Theory


By Albert Einstein


When you are courting a nice girl an hour seems like a second. When you sit on a red-hot cinder a second seems like an hour. That's relativity.' Dealing with the theory of relativity - special relativity and general relativity - and the considerations on the universe as a whole, this book gives an insight into the scientific theory about the relationship between space and time, the theory of gravitation, and the universe.


A Nobel laureate, Einstein's research and theories changed the world. First published in 1916, Relativity: The Special and the General Theory is regarded as the most significant work in modern physics. It continues to remain popular and highly influential.


About the Author: Regarded as the founder of modern physics, Albert Einstein was born in 1879, in Ulm, Kingdom of Wurttemberg, German Empire. He completed his Ph.D. from the University of Zurich in 1905 and published four papers in the scientific journal named Annalen der Physik. These papers on photoelectric effect, Brownian motion, special relativity, and mass-energy equivalence (E = mc2) were significant contributors to the foundation of modern physics. In the next few years, Einstein came to be recognized as a major scientist.


He developed the general theory of relativity between 1907 and 1915. It was published in 1915. In 1916, Einstein published Relativity: The Special and the General Theory in German. Its first English translation was published in 1920. In 1921, Einstein was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics "for his services to Theoretical Physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect." He published numerous scientific and non-scientific works.


 
 

Forever is True


By Novoneel Chakraborty


Six months have passed since Prisha was pushed to death by the person she loved the most, Saveer. But she doesn't believes that it was him till she stumbles upon the first clue to the mystery that Saveer is, which leads her to his twisted past: he is not who he says he is.Forever is True is a riveting thriller exposing the deadly limits that a person can go to because of a ruined childhood.


About the Author: Novoneel Chakraborty is the bestselling author of nine romantic thriller novels. His novel Forget Me Not, Stranger debuted as the No. 1 bestseller across India, while the second in the Stranger series, All Yours, Stranger, ranked among the top five thriller novels on Amazon, India. Apart from novels, Novoneel has also written seven TV shows. He lives and works in Mumbai.


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