A woman's search for love and independence in a strange city far away from home. French Lover is the story of Nilanjana, a young Bengali woman from Kolkata who moves to Paris after her marriage to Kishanlal, a restaurant owner. Kishanlal's luxurious apartment seems to Nilanjana to be a gilded cage, and she feels stifled within its friendless confines. Her marriage, where she functions as little more than a housekeeper and a sex object, is far from fulfilling and Nilanjana looks desperately for a way out of the boredom and depression that threaten to engulf her life. It is at this point that she meets Benoir Dupont, a blond, blue-eyed handsome Frenchman, and is swept off her feet. Benoir introduces Nilanjana to the streets, the cafes and the art galleries of Paris. In her passionate, sexually liberating relationship with Benoir, she finally begins to have an inkling of her own desires. The relationship ends when Nilanjana realizes that Benoir's first priority is himself and not the woman he loves, and that her need for him has ended. But her road to self-discovery has only just begun... Bold in concept and powerful in execution, French Lover is a fascinating glimpse into the workings of a woman's mind as she struggles to come to terms with her identity in a hostile world.
Five Dollar Smile
Sub title: Fourteen Early Stories & a Farce in Two Acts
Early stories from the award-winning author of The Great Indian Novel The Five-Dollar Smile is a collection of stories of young love and disaffection, adolescent high spirits and youthful traumas; there are also stories, written with the energy and passion of youth, which deal with very adult subjects: death, dishonour, deceit, loss, hypocrisy, family, honour, the exacting price of success and the astonishing power of compassion and love. Sensitive, compelling and persuasive, these stories, written for the most part in Shashi Tharoor's late teens and early twenties, reveal an already formidable talent. Rounding off the collection is a marvellously inventive play set in the time of Mrs Gandhi's Emergency. The Five-Dollar Smile confirms the praise lavished on Shashi Tharoor all over the world for his writing.
I recommend this collection to all who are interested in Asian literature as it should be done'.......Han Suyin
This majestic novel by the author of India Unbound is the extraordinary chronicle, rich in passion and incident, of a Punjabi family that is uprooted from its settled existence in Lyallpur by the violence of Partition and forced to flee to India. Everything is lost in the transition, but when a son is born into the family, hopes revive of rebuilding the family's fortunes, the efforts towards which mirror those of India itself as it struggles to build itself anew.
'''Vikram Seth has created new territory for Indian authors writing in English. An Equal Music is quite fascinating. It is technically brilliant.'''.......Vikram Chandra.
'''Seth has written a vibrant, passion-filled tale.'''.......Time '''An Equal Music joins the genre of great fiction.'''.......The Statesman
Delhi is Not Far
-One of the best storytellers of contemporary India' "Tribune Momentous things happen elsewhere, in the big cities of Nehru's India. In dull and dusty Pipalnagar, each day is like another, and -there is not exactly despair, but resignation'. Even the dreams here are small: if he ever makes it to Delhi, Deep Chand, the barber, will open a more up-to-date salon where he might, perhaps, give the Prime Minister a haircut; Pitamber will trade his cycle-rickshaw for the less demanding scooter-rickshaw; Aziz will be happy with a junk-shop in Chandni Chowk. None, of course, will make that journey to Delhi. Adrift among them, the narrator, Arun, a struggling writer of detective novels in Urdu, waits for inspiration to write a blockbuster. One day he will pack his meagre belongings and take the express train out of Pipalnagar. Meanwhile, he seeks reassurance in love, and finds it in unusual places: with the young prostitute Kamla, wise beyond her years; and the orphan Suraj, homeless and an epileptic, yet surprisingly optimistic about the future. Few authors write with greater sensitivity and skill about little India than Ruskin Bond. Delhi Is Not Far is a memorable story about small lives, with all the hallmarks of classic Ruskin Bond prose: nostalgia, charm, underplayed humour and quiet wisdom.
Penguin Book of Indian Railway Stories
The stories in this collection capture the essence of the Indian Railways - from the small-town station, at the time of the Raj, to the present day big-city station bursting at the seams. The teening and varied life of the Indian Railway station and its environs have fascinated writers from Jules Verne in the 1870s to more recently Satyajit Ray, R.K. Laxman and more modern writers. In this anthology, one of India's best-known writers makes a selection of greattest railway stories the subcontinent has produced. Julese Verne Rudyard Kipling Flora Annie Steel Hon. J.W. Best Jim Corbett Khushwant Singh Ruskin Bond Manoj Das Intizar Husain Satyajit Ray Bill Aitkin R.K. Laxman Victor Banerjee Manojit Mitra
Intrusion and Other Stories
A haunting new collection of short stories from one of India's most acclaimed writers Shashi Deshpande, in her new collection of short stories, explores a world darkened by the despair and unhappiness of women trying to break out of pre-defined roles. There is the newly married protagonist of the title story, whose self-respect and sense of self are violated by her crass and insensitive husband; the wife who finds herself involved in an affair because of her husband's indifference; the mother who tries to forge a relationship with a hostile daughter.... These and other stories in this collection serve to reaffirm Shashi Deshpande in her reputation as a writer of acuity and compassion.
"Deshpande's finely-honed sensibility infuses the delicate interplay of human relationships with a realistic ambience which serves to crystallise our thoughts, and all at once we see in her a natural extension of our own cognitive parameters.' —The Times of India
Faredoon (Freddie) Junglewalla is either the jewel of the Parsi community or a murdering scoundrel. Freddie's mother-in-law, Jerbanoo, thinks he is planning to do away with her, but Freddie has always been a pragmatist: if the old woman were to die (be murdered?) the body would have to be placed on the open-roofed Towers of Silence, in keeping with custom, and that would never do. Insurance fraud and arson, however, are well within Freddie's repertoire"in fact he thinks he has invented the idea, so advanced is it for India, in 1901. As his -skills' grow he becomes a man of consequence among the Parsis, with people travelling thousands of miles to see him in Lahore, especially if they wish to escape tight spots they have got themselves into. In this wickedly comic novel, the celebrated author of Ice-Candy Man takes us into the heart of the Parsi community, portraying its varied customs and traits with contagious humour.
Ruthlessly truthful, deeply perceptive, she tells her story with rare courage, frankness and good humour. The Crow Eaters will certainly endear her to every reader who comes across the book. A veritable tour de force'.......Faiz Ahmed Faiz
Sub title: A Novel
Colombo is in the throes of an explosion. Its face changes continuously, its vices are legion, its future as yet obscure and its paths speak of sunlight as well as of shadow.-' Carl Muller begins his quasi-fictional portrait of this beautiful, war-torn city by describing the great battles fought over it by European colonizers-. In AD 1505, a Portuguese fleet blown off-course took shelter in Galle, overthrew the local kings, fortified Colombo and decided to stay. The Dutch came along, ousted the Portuguese, made Colombo their capital and ruled till the British arrived and sent them packing. Muller intersperses the tales of the past into descriptions of the battles that are being fought in Colombo today"political battles in which vested interests play a major role as well as battles fought on the individual level in the struggle to survive: young women and children turning to prostitution to earn an extra buck, people begging in the streets to make ends meet, unemployed young men turning to crime in frustration, students demonstrating against atrocities, lovers pining for nightfall in order to push away loneliness if only for a few moments... Written in Muller's lucid style, Colombo: A Novel is a chronicle of a city's trials and triumphs.
This is the story of Rukmini who is married to the District Collector of a small town in Assam, and teaches English Literature in the local college. On the surface her life is settled and safe, living in the big, beautiful bungalow on the hill above the cremation ground, seemingly untouched by the toil and sufferings of the common folk below. Yet each time there is an -incident' in the district, the fear and uncertainty that grips the town is reflected in her own life. The violent insurgency that grips Assam runs like a dark river through the novel and forms its backdrop. The Assam students' agitation of the 1970s and 1980s that began as a movement for self-determination has grown into a full blown insurgency. Kidnappings, extortion and political instability are the order of the day. The issue of illegal migration from across the border has spread mistrust and bitterness among the people of the region and Rukmini's world is pervaded by this ever-present threat of violence. The meaninglessness of it all, the complexities that divide -them' and -us' and the point at which the two merge are all explored in this powerful novel. The final dénouement is horrifying and yet true"for there can be no other -end' to such a tale, where the personal is so densely interwoven with the political.
a confident and enormously accomplished debut. It is written in a prose which is clear yet delicate and evocative'.......Biblio.
Mitra Phukan's fiction can do what official action has not done 'make the North-east accessible to rest of India'.......Hindustan Times.
The Collector's Wife will go a long way in filling a vacuum in the sphere of English writing by Assamese authors'.......Assam Tribune.
Phukan deals pertinently and with forthrightness with real political issues . . . succeeds in what seems to have been her primary aim: to give her reader a rattling good read, and plenty to think about while reading it'.......Statesman