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Attention Readers! Here are Five Books to Look Forward to in November 2017

While October saw a diverse bookshelf, ranging from "Finding my Virginity," by Richard Branson to "The Bhojpuri Kitchen," by Pallavi Nigam Sahay, the upcoming month is more about concrete titles by well-known faces.

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Looking for books to read in November? We have got you covered! Pixabay

New Delhi, October 30, 2017 : With the Nobel Prize for Literature and the Man Booker Prize – the two most coveted literary honors – having been awarded earlier in October, the literary season has indeed set in.

Two literature festivals have just concluded in the national capital. The DSC Prize for South Asian Literature will be announced in about two weeks, while the Jaipur Literature Festival is also round the corner. What better time for publishing houses to release the most-awaited books of the year?

While October saw a diverse bookshelf, ranging from “Finding my Virginity,” by Richard Branson to “The Bhojpuri Kitchen,” by Pallavi Nigam Sahay, the upcoming month is more about concrete titles by well-known faces.

Here are five books we can’t wait to read this November

1. “The Book of Chocolate Saints” by Jeet Thayil (Aleph)

One of the most-awaited literary books of the year by Jeet Thayil, a past winner of the DSC prize, the Sahitya Akademi Award and a finalist of the Man Booker Prize. In incandescent prose, Thayil tells the story of Newton Francis Xavier, blocked poet, serial seducer of young women, reformed alcoholic (but only just), philosopher, recluse, all-round wild man and India’s greatest living painter. At the age of 66, Xavier, who has been living in New York, is getting ready to return to the land of his birth to stage one final show of his work (accompanied by a mad bacchanal). Narrated in a huge variety of voices and styles, all of which blend seamlessly into a novel of remarkable accomplishment, “The Book of Chocolate Saints” is the sort of literary masterpiece that only comes along once in a very long time.

2. “Conflicts of Interest” by Sunita Narain (Penguin)

One of India’s foremost environmentalists, Sunita Narain gives a personal account of her battles as part of the country’s Green Movement. While outlining the enormous environmental challenges that India faces today, Narain says political interests often scuttle their effective resolution. She recounts some widely reported controversies triggered by research undertaken by her along with her team at the Centre for Science and Environment, such as the pesticides in colas report, air pollution research in Delhi and endosulfan research in Karnataka, among others. Narain also includes an ‘environmental manifesto’, a blueprint for the direction India must take if it is to deal with the exigencies of climate change and environmental degradation.

3. “Life among the Scorpions” by Jaya Jaitly (Rupa)

From arranging relief for victims of the 1984 Sikh riots, to joining politics under firebrand leader George Fernandes, to becoming president of the Samata Party — a key ally in the erstwhile NDA Government – Jaya Jaitly’s rise in Indian mainstream politics invited both awe and envy. All this even as she continued her parallel fight for the livelihood of craftsmen on the one hand, and conceptualised and ensured establishment of the first Dilli Haat in 1994, on the other. With all the backstories of major events in Indian politics between 1970 and 2000, including her experience of dealing with the Commission of Inquiry and courts regarding the Tehelka sting, the story of Jaya Jaitly makes for a riveting read. A powerful narrative on why being a woman in politics was for her akin to being surrounded by scorpions; this is one of the best books set for release and a hard hitting memoir that offers a perspective on the functioning of Indian politics from a woman’s point of view.

4. “Chase Your Dreams” by Sachin Tendulkar (Hachette India)

Why should adults have all the fun? In his career spanning 24 years, hardly any records have escaped Sachin Tendulkar’s masterly touch. Besides being the highest run scorer in Tests and ODIs, he also uniquely became the first and only batsman to score 100 international centuries and play 200 Tests. His proficient stroke-making is legendary, as is his ability to score runs in all parts of the field and all over the world. And Tendulkar has now come up with this uniquely special edition of his autobiography for young readers.

5. “China’s India War” by Bertil Lintner (Oxford University Press)

The Sino-Indian War of 1962 delivered a crushing defeat to India: not only did the country suffer a loss of lives and a heavy blow to its pride, the world began to see India as the provocateur of the war, with China ‘merely defending’ its territory. This perception that China was largely the innocent victim of Nehru’s hostile policies was put forth by journalist Neville Maxwell in his book “India’s China War,” which found readers in many opinion makers, including Henry Kissinger and Richard Nixon. For far too long, Maxwell’s narrative, which sees India as the aggressor and China as the victim, has held court. Nearly 50 years after Maxwell’s book, Bertil Lintner’s “China’s India War” puts the ‘border dispute’ into its rightful perspective. Lintner argues that China began planning the war as early as 1959 and proposes that it was merely a small move in the larger strategic game that China was playing to become a world player — one that it continues to play even today. (IANS)

(Editorial note : This article has been written by Saket Suman and was first published at IANS. Saket can be contacted at saket.s@ians.in)

 

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Arundhati Roy’s Latest Fiction “The Ministry of Utmost Happiness” makes it to the Long-list of Man Booker Prize 2017

The judges have described Roy's The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, as "a rich and vital book [that] comes from the bowels of India"

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Arundhati Roy makes it to the 2017 Man Booker Prize longlist
Arundhati Roy, Writer of Man Booker Prize for Fiction winning novel The God of Small Things (1997). Wikimedia
  • Arundhati Roy’s “The Ministry’s of Utmost Happiness“, has made it to 2017 Man Booker Prize longlist
  • She has won the Man Booker Prize for her novel, The God of Small Things, two decades ago
  • The winner will be announced on October 17, 2017 

New Delhi, August 6, 2017: Arundhati Roy, with her latest work of fiction, “The Ministry of Utmost Happiness“, has made it to this year’s Man Booker Prize longlist. She won the Man Booker Prize for her novel, The God of Small Things, two decades ago, making her the only author on the list to have already won the UK’s most prestigious literary prize.

The judges have described Roy’s The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, as “a rich and vital book [that] comes from the bowels of India”

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With a heterogeneity of four UK, four US, two Irish, two UK-Pakistani and one Indian writer; three debuts; and three novels from independent presses, chair of judges, Baroness Lola Young stated, that only after the judges surveyed the 13 remaining contenders, they realized the diversity of their list.

“The longlist showcases a diverse spectrum – not only of voices and literary styles but of protagonists too, in their culture, age, and gender. Nevertheless, we found there was a spirit common to all these novels: though their subject matter might be turbulent, their power and range were life-affirming – a tonic for our times,” said Young.

ALSO READWhy doesn’t Arundhati Roy give up Man Booker, asks Anupam Kher

The Booker wasn’t open to US authors until 2014. Paul Beatty is the first American author to win the literary prize, for The Sellout last year.

Among others who are featured are, Colson Whitehead who has been nominated for his Pulitzer Prize-winning book The Underground Railroad, Zadie Smith is featured for documenting the relationship between two London girls who meet at a dance class in Swing Time, while Ali Smith has been chosen for novel Autumn.

The 2017 Man Booker prize longlist:
4321 by Paul Auster (Faber & Faber)
Days Without End by Sebastian Barry (Faber & Faber)
History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, Orion Books)
Exit West by Mohsin Hamid (Hamish Hamilton, Penguin Random House)
Solar Bones by Mike McCormack (Canongate)
Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor (4th Estate, HarperCollins)
Elmet by Fiona Mozley (JM Originals, John Murray)
The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy (Hamish Hamilton, Penguin Random House)
Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders (Bloomsbury)
Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie (Bloomsbury)
Autumn by Ali Smith (Hamish Hamilton, Penguin Random House)
Swing Time by Zadie Smith (Hamish Hamilton, Penguin Random House)
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead (Fleet, Little, Brown)

The judges will now re-read these 13 novels and shortlist six of them, which will be announced on 13 September, before the announcement of the winner of the Man Booker on 17 October.

prepared by Samiksha Goel of NewsGram. Twitter @goel_samiksha

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British Library to host 70 years of India-Britain Cultural relations of Jaipur Literature Festival

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New Delhi, April 21, 2017: The British Library will be transformed like never before as the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival animates its iconic spaces for the first time in celebration as part of significant 70 years of India-Britain cultural relations.

Held for two days on May 20-21, the fourth London edition of the ZEE JLF@The British Library will present a sumptuous showcase of South Asia’s literary heritage, oral and performing arts, music, cinema and illusion, books and ideas, dialogue and debate, Bollywood and politics in the context of this broader view of India and its relationship to the Britain.

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The speakers at the programmer include: Oscar-winning British director Stephen Frears, Swapan Dasgupta, Shashi Tharoor, Shrabani Basu, Neel Madhav, Philip Norman, Tahmima Anam, Sarvat Hasin, Amit Chaudhuri, Kunal Basu, Amit Chaudhuri, Meera Syal, Prajwal Parajuly and Lila Azam Zanganeh, Anita Anand along with William Dalrymple and Namita Gokhale.

ZEE JLF@The British Library is the first of five cultural strands which form part of the Year of UK-India of Culture in 2017, celebrating the deep cultural ties and exchange in what is a year of great significance for the world’s largest democracy as India marks 70 years as an independent democratic republic.

“In only a decade the Jaipur Literature Festival has grown from 14 lost tourists to third of a million people and it’s now the biggest festival of literature in the world. We can’t wait to bring its energy and colour to the British Library: our Jaipur-on-Thames,” author and ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival Co-Director William Dalrymple said in a statement.

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Namita Gokhale, author and ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival Co-Director said: “Delighted that the fourth edition of JLF in London will be hosted by the British Library. London is a uniquely cosmopolitan and literary city, and we look forward to celebrating diversity through a series of vibrant sessions that reflect the special spirit of Jaipur.”

Sanjoy Roy, Producer, ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival, said: “Our collaboration with the British Library is reflective of the shared history between the sub-continent and the UK. The festival will continue to be a platform for diverse voices and will celebrate 70 years of India’s independence.”

“The British Library is delighted to be hosting the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival this year as we celebrate the UK-India Year of Culture. The exciting programme reflects the richness of this new cultural partnership,” Jamie Andrews, Head, Culture and Learning, The British Library, said in a statement. (IANS)

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Renowned Classical Singer Kishori Amonkar passes away at 84

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Classical Singer Kishori Amonkar (middle), Twitter

Mumbai, April 4, 2017: Renowned classical singer Kishori Amonkar passed away shortly before midnight, family sources said here on Tuesday.

She was 84 and breathed her last at her Dadar west home.

In her singing career spanning seven decades, she was revered as ‘Gaan-Saraswati’. Belonging to the Jaipur Gharana, she was conferred the Padma Vibhushan and Sahitya Akademi Award among many others.

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A widow, she is survived by two sons and grandchildren.

Veteran singer Lata Mangeshkar said she was depply pained to hear about Amonkar’s demise. “She was a unique and extraordinary classical singer. Her demise spells a huge loss for the world of music.”

Her funeral will be held on Tuesday evening at Shivaji Park Crematorium. (IANS)