Villainy by Upamanyu Chatterjee is a mirror of the India we live in

featured image for the book review of Upamanyu Chatterjee's Villany. More than the villainy of human beings, this is a book that shows the waste of potential and privilege.

One early morning, casual walkers in a Delhi neighbourhood find a corpse on their usual morning walk route. Nobody knows who it is or where it has come from. Thus begins Villainy, the new novel by Upamanyu Chatterjee, published by Speaking Tiger. Spanning two decades, the story takes us back to Parmatma and Pukhraj — […]

Club you to Death by Anuja Chauhan

Club you to Death

“At which point in the book did you figure out who the killer was?” M asks me, as we pause in between giggling over Anuja Chauhan’s delectable male heroes. “I figured it out when…,” she goes on to describe a scene in Club You to Death, Chauhan’s latest, described on social media as a “rom-crime”.  […]

Desirable Daughters: A Diaspora Family Novel

Desirable Daughters

Desirable Daughters by Bharati Mukherjee frequently pops up in lists of Best Indian Books Written in English or Set in America or Books You Should Read if You Love Diaspora Literature. A lot of reviews compared it to The Joy Luck Club. I’d been meaning to pick it up for a while- the blurb spoke […]

Breast Stories by Mahasweta Devi

Breast Stories

When Purple Pencil Project asked me if I would review Breast Stories by Mahasweta Devi, I almost refused. What is there to say about Mahasweta Devi that has not been said before? What can I have anything to add? I come from a part of India where Mahasweta Devi is revered. I can’t possibly critique […]

Men and Dreams in the Dhauladhar : A Review

book review mend and dreams in the dhauladhar

One of my favourite parts of Men and Dreams in the Dhauladhar is the description of an accident in the labour camps. One man is found dead, and the supervisors hurriedly plan to take him to a hospital and quickly cremate him. They don’t want the body back in the camp- it would only cause […]

Ismat: Her Life, Her Times

ismat chugtai book cover

Lihaaf was the first Ismat Chughtai story I read, back in my first year of college. I was 18, bright-eyed with curiosity and excitement, in a new city, far from home. Lihaaf stood out and became my favourite short story from our “Indian writing in English” course, which featured such names as Tagore to Amitav […]

Re-reading classics: Shadow Lines by Amitav Ghosh

Shadow Lines Book Cover

I read Shadow Lines by Amitav Ghosh once every year. I don’t remember when I started this tradition but I seem to have done it through most of my teens, and my entire adult life; and yet, each reading brings with it a new discovery. The Early Years As a teenager reading the book, much […]