In 2013 the Aleph publishing house brought out a wonderfully put together book, A Pleasant Kind of Heavy and Other Erotic Stories was a collection of tales about Indian women and sexual desire. The book was written by ‘Aranyani’—a nom de plume as at the time the author chose anonymity (for review see The Book Review January 2015).
Four years later Amrita Narayanan has collaborated with Aleph again to bring us another beautifully produced book, The Parrots of Desire: 3000 Years of Indian Erotica. The book comes to us hardbound in black with a clever picture adorning the cover and an invitingly scarlet inner leaf that connects it chromatically with its predecessor. And while erotic desire remains central to her second book—the two are entirely different literary outings. While Aranyani wrote about unapologetic women finding sexual bliss in modern India, Amrita attempts to glean together a pastiche of all Indian thought on Sex and Desire.
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