A Lost People’s Archive by Rimli Sengupta

People's Archive

Akankshya Abismruta reviews Rimli Sengupta’s A Lost People’s Archive (Published by Aleph Book Company, June 2023) Rimli Sengupta’s second novel A Lost People’s Archive is about the impact of the partition of India on the people of present-day Bangladesh, known in the book as Bangals, different from the Bengali folks of India. The Punjab partition […]

Courting Hindustan by Madhur Gupta – A window to the lives of 10 spectacular women

book review of madhur gupta's book courting hindustan

Akankshya Abismruta reviews Madhur Gupta’s Courting Hindustan (Published by Rupa Publications, 2023) In Courting Hindustan: The Consuming Passions of Iconic Women Performers of India, Madhur Gupta delves into the lives and times of 10 spectacular women who have either been forgotten or whose voices have been silenced throughout history. In the introduction, Gupta provides a […]

Re-reading Volga’s The Liberation of Sita through my 20s


Akankshya Abismruta reviews The Liberation of Sita by Volga, originally written in Telugu and translated into English by T. Vijay Kumar and C. Vijayasree. If you think that there are no narratives that showcase female friendship in mythology, then Volga’s The Liberation of Sita is the one for you. I have read it multiple times […]

Chandrabati’s Ramayan: A 16th-Century Indigenous Lyrical Telling of Sita’s Story


Akankshya Abismruta reviews Chandrabati’s Ramayan (Translated from Bengali by Nabaneeta Dev Sen) and published by Zubaan Publishers (2020). Chandrabati, living in the 16th century in present-day Bangladesh, is the first woman poet who wrote in Bangla. She is also the first poet in Bangla to retell Ramayana from Sita’s perspective. Her Ramayana was lyrical and […]

Patna Blues by Abdullah Khan: Small Town Living, the 90s, and the Atrocities in India

Feature image for the review of a book about Patna, India.

Patna Blues by Abdullah Khan (Published by Juggernaut, 2018) is a captivating read with its simple prose, vivid descriptions of places, and well-developed characters Abdullah Khan quotes the famous lines from Faiz’s poem, Mujhse Pehli Si Mohabbat, as the epigraph of the book which foreshadows the story that is to begin. Aur bhi dukh hain […]

Sultana’s Dream: Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain’s satire on male oppression

Feature image for a book review of Sultana's Dream

The non-Purdah abiding, science-savy women in Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain’s Sultana’s Dream Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain was born (in 1880) to an orthodox zamindar during a time when women’s education was deeply frowned upon in the Indian subcontinent. She wasn’t allowed to go to school and was secretly taught English and Bengali by her siblings. She grew […]

Anukrti Upadhyay’s The Blue Women are full of love and magic!

feature image of two women talking over coffee, created for this review of The Blue Women, a collection of short stories

The Blue Women by Anukrti Upadhyay navigates into lived lives of people, their inner demons, and perceived evil. Life is not a victim of reason and logic. We tend to look for causality, we often do not succeed. We live, and we react. It does not make sense, so we try to find comfort in […]

The Only Way Out Is Death by Varun Gwalani-Thriller or Post-pandemic fiction?

review of a book by varun gwalani, the only way out is death

Akankshya Abismruta reviews Varun Gwalani’s The Only Way Out is Death (Saga Fiction, 2022) Locked-room thriller immediately reminds me of And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie. While Christie used the titular poem to craft the murders in her book, Varun Gwalani uses the pandemic and the following lockdown to build the context of his […]

Reading Beyond My Prejudices: The Naani Diaries by Riva Razdan

feature image for a review of romance novel naani diaries

Akankshya Abismruta reviews Riva Razdan’s The Naani Diaries (published by HarperCollins India, 2023). The last Indian love story I read by an Indian author was Revolution 2020. I was 17, and so disgusted that I not only stopped reading Bhagat but also concluded that Indians cannot write love stories as authors like Nicholas Sparks in […]