Bulbul Sharma’s latest novel, The Tailor of Giripul is the perfect book to curl up with on a rainy monsoon evening. It is redolent of the sounds and smells of the mountains, which the author evidently loves, and of the minutae of life lived in the small forgotten little villages nestled in the heart of those mountains. THE TAILOR OF GIRIPUL
The Past: Radcliffe’s Line Makers on the Dollmakers’ Island’, the title of the first chapter is self evident and spells out the theme of the novel. The plot swings between the past and the present; between history, fantasy and the real, thus making it a surreal satire; and from Ashoka’s times to the contemporary internet age.
It has been a while since we have seen a story about Kerala, written in English and replete with its local flavour and fervour.As a result Binoo K. John’s new book catches one’s eye. Known for his three previous books, all non-fiction: two travelogues about Malabar and Cherrapunji and one on the English language in India, a ‘quasi-academic book’ as he calls it, John’s versatility as a writer is put to the test this time around.
In the speedily democratizing world of Indian writing in English, the Mystery of the Missing Crime Thriller remains more or less unsolved. H.R.F. Keating’s Inspector Ghote was just granted a new lease of life, but never managed to captivate audiences the way Feluda could in his translated avatar.
Aneesha Capur’s debut novel Stealing Karma seems to have a fascinating and winning combination. The author is an Indian born, Nairobi bred writer settled in the U.S. She weaves a story of an Indian girl, Mira married to the slightly older Prashant Sharma and living in Nairobi with her baby girl, Shanti.
Not having read Ghalib Shiraz Dhalla’s first novel Ode to Lata, I approached his second one, The Exiles, with some trepidation. Let me at the outset, quite candidly, place my own prejudices on record: I have, of late, turned a bit wary, if not weary, of reading endless stories of listless exile, especially that of the Indian diaspora.
It is ironic indeed that ‘Woman’s Desire’ has always been a no man’s land, a barbed twilight zone far beyond anyone’s reach. As the prime site of women-centric crimes, woman’s body has been on the focus for the last few decades, but not many have dared navigate into the ‘cora’, the mystique, the semiotics of woman’s fantasy, her instinct to fly beyond borders and boundaries, beyond the narrow confines of a rigid social structure which grants her soul no choice to select ‘her own society’, a ‘home’ or even a ‘room’ of her own.