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Books of the week: From Koral Dasgupta's Kunti to Women in the Worlds of Labour, our picks

Books of the week: From Koral Dasgupta's Kunti to Women in the Worlds of Labour, our picks
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Books of the week: From Koral Dasgupta's Kunti to Women in the Worlds of Labour, our picks

We love stories, and even in the age of Netflix-and-chill, there’s nothing like a good book that promises a couple of hours of absorption — whether curled up in bed, in your favourite coffeehouse, or that long (and tiresome) commute to work. Every week, we’ll have a succinct pick of books, across diverse genres, that have been newly made available for your reading pleasure. Get them wherever you get your books — the friendly neighbourhood bookseller, e-retail website, chain store — and in whatever form you prefer. Happy reading! For more of our weekly book recommendations, click here. *** – FICTION Kunti: The Sati Series II By Koral Dasgupta Pan Macmillan India | Rs 350 | 224 pages Author Koral Dasgupta tells the story of Kunti, a matriarch in the Mahabharata and one of the Pancha Satis, from a childhood of scholarly pursuits to unwanted motherhood at adolescence, and from a detached marriage to her ambitious love for the king of the devas. After Ahalya, this is the second in the Sati series, which explores the lives of the Pancha Kanyas of Hindu mythology. Read more about the book here. The Full Platter: flash fiction By Abha Iyengar Hawakal Publishers | Rs 250 | 136 pages Writer Abha Iyengar’s collection of short fiction reveal what lies under the masks we wear each day. One story shows a young boy without a home to call his own, being bullied, and finally deciding to make where he’s staying home. Another addresses the taboo against menstruation and how a woman turns it to her advantage. Read more about the book here. – POETRY The Boatman of Murshidabad By Madhu Kailas Aleph Book Company | Rs 399 | 115 pages Poet Madhu Kailas’ collection presents the poet’s engagement with art and creative liberation. In one poem, the protagonist embodies loneliness and the passage of time. In another, travellers return and pick new faces for rebirth. Another poem follows a child who grows up and learns to listen to silence. In yet another, the flowing breeze preserves an arrangement of leaves and flowers in a secret language. Read more about the book here. – MEMOIRS and BIOGRAPHIES Policymaker’s Journal: From New Delhi to Washington D.C. By Kaushik Basu Simon & Schuster India | Rs 699 | 345 pages Economist Kaushik Basu’s book is a revised version of a diary he kept for seven years, charting his career from academia to policymaking, first in India as Chief Economic Adviser to the government during a period of high inflation and later as Chief Economist at the World Bank in Washington, handling the politics and research involved. Read more about the book here. – NON-FICTION Women in the Worlds of Labour: Interdisciplinary and Intersectional Perspectives Edited by Mary E John and Meena Gopal Orient BlackSwan | Rs 995 | 468 pages Professors Mary John and Meena Gopal edit a collection about the many worlds of women’s labour, detailing how work is defined and recognised in India, discussing the theoretical legacies that require more engagement, from social reproduction to the nature of capitalism, and more; and highlighting intersectional issues. Read more about the book here. Violent Modernities: Cultural Lives of Law in the New India By Oishik Sircar Oxford University Press India | Rs 1595 | 370 pages Associate professor Oishik Sircar’s book uses a legal perspective to show how law and violence share a deep intimacy in the country, with one feeding the other. Researched and written between 2008 and 2018, it focusses on cultural sites like universities, cinemas, people’s movements, and more, to show how law and violence are entangled. Read more about the book here.

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