Madhya Pradesh is the heart of India. Originally known as Malwa, the place has nurtured some epic rulers and warriors as well, like Emperor Ashoka, Chandragupta, Vikramaditya, Harsha Vardhan, Raja Bohoj and many others. A long, revealing history forged by these great men is preserved in book and ink.
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Explore the home of the cultural and spiritual heritage of almost all religions in Madhya Pradesh through these books!
Title: Animal’s People
Author: Indra Sinha
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Blurb: Ever since he can remember, Animal has gone on all fours, his back twisted beyond repair by the catastrophic events of “that night” when a burning fog of poison smoke from the local factory blazed out over the town of Khaufpur, and the Apocalypse visited his slums. Now just turned seventeen and well schooled in street work, he lives by his wits, spending his days jamisponding (spying) on town officials and looking after the elderly nun who raised him, Ma Franci. His nights are spent fantasizing about Nisha, the girlfriend of the local resistance leader, and wondering what it must be like to get laid.
When Elli Barber, a young American doctor, arrives in Khaufpur to open a free clinic for the still suffering townsfolk — only to find herself struggling to convince them that she isn’t there to do the dirty work of the Kampani — Animal gets caught up in a web of intrigues, scams, and plots with the unabashed aim of turning events to his own advantage.
Profane, piercingly honest, and scathingly funny, Animal’s People illuminates a dark world shot through with flashes of joy and lunacy. A stunning tale of an unforgettable character, it is an unflinching look at what it means to be human: the wounds that never heal and a spirit that will not be quenched.
Price: Rs. 1009 || Pages: 384
Title: A Woven Rope
Author: Bhawani Prasad Mishra
Translator: Alka Tyagi
Publisher: Sahitya Akademi
Blurb: The poems in this collection are clearly a movement from the outer to the inner world. The poet is sharply aware of the ephemeral nature of each passing moment. This awareness imparts an intensity even to the most mundane episodes in the poet’s life. In contrast to the poems in his previous collection, Buni Huyi Rassi mainly contains Bhawani Prasad’s shorter poems. Passing time, a sense of loneliness in old age, conflicts due to differences in perception, description of varied natural phenomena, close scrutiny of everyday life—are some of the objects that these poems explore. In his unique style, Bhawani Prasad creates diction, effecting new meanings, sometimes due to musicality of similar sounding words sometimes due to puns and sometimes due to sheer vividness of imagery.
Price: Rs. 125 || Pages: 60
Title: A Breath of Fresh Air
Author: Amulya Malladi
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Blurb: A smart, successful schoolteacher, Anjali is now remarried to Sandeep, a loving and stable professor. Their lives would be nearly perfect, if not for their young son’s declining health. But when Anjali’s first husband suddenly reappears in her life, she is thrown back to the troubling days of their marriage with a force that impacts everyone around her. As events unfold, feelings she had guarded like gold begin to leak away from her, spreading out into the world and challenging her once firm beliefs.
Rich in insight into Indian culture and psychology, A Breath of Fresh Air resonates with meaning and the enduring power of love. In a landscape as intriguing as it is unfamiliar, Anjali’s struggles to reconcile the roles of wife and ex-wife, working woman and mother, illuminate both the fascinating duality of the modern Indian woman and the difficult choices all women must make.
Price: Rs. 1552 || Pages: 240
Title: The Bhopal Tragedy: What Really Happened and What it Means for American Workers and Communities at Risk
Author: M. Arun Subramaniam, Ward Morehouse
Publisher: Bootstrap Press
Blurb: The Bhopal Tragedy: What Really Happened and What It Means for American Workers and Communities At Risk, written by M Arun Subramaniam and Ward Morehouse, is the first written document of the Bhopal tragedy. It is an explicit account of the tragedy that took place in Bhopal and its implications for all those American communities and workers who may be facing the same risks as the Indian workers.
The book questions the real cause of this terrible catastrophe which took the lives of 5000 people and injured more than 200000 people. The working conditions and environment of the factory, which led to such an accident, have been discussed in detail. It presents a completely different view of the compensation matter and has calculated the number of economic losses that need to be addressed. The book also provides clear and constructive ideas on how to deal with the problems arising from the Bhopal tragedy. An interesting chapter focuses on possible relief and compensation for the victims who have suffered unbearable losses.
Price: Rs. – || Pages: 190
Title: The Hill of Devi
Author: E. M. Forster
Publisher: Mariner Books
Blurb: The Hill of Devi is E M Forster’s memoir of his two visits to the state of Dewas Senior, in the west of India, first in 1912–13 and later in 1921, when he worked as private secretary to the Maharajah of Dewas. The book consists of the letters Forster wrote home during his two visits, with additional commentary analysing his experience in the country. The title draws inspiration from a hill in Dewas where a temple to the goddess Devi is located. The first edition of the book included plates with photographs of Forster’s visits, including a portrait of the Maharajah and of the writer wearing Indian traditional clothes.
Price: Rs. – || Pages: 276
Title: A River Sutra
Author: Gita Mehta
Publisher: Penguin India
Blurb: A River Sutra looks at the diverse experiences across India. Presenting disconnected narratives about a variety of people, the book plays on the Indian concept of a “sutra” – literally, a thread, and more figuratively, a morality-delivering fiction genre. In this case, the thread that links these six tales is the idea of love – and the holy site of the Narmada River, a place of worship and community.
Price: Rs. 247 || Pages: 282
Blurb: Mowgli is not an ordinary boy; he can climb trees like a monkey and even outrun a tiger. He is a child of the jungle. Discovered at the edge of a cave in the Seeonee hills, Mowgli was taken under the care and protection of a family of wolves when he was no more than a baby. Now adopted by the wolf pack, he slowly grows up away from the world of men. Along the way he makes life-long friends: Baloo the brown bear and Bagheera the wise panther who help him learn the laws of the jungle.
But the jungle can be a dangerous place.
Together the trio face unforeseen dangers and find themselves caught up in exciting adventures-until Mowgli finally comes face-to-face with Shere Khan the tiger, and the Bandar-Log.
Price: Rs. 135 || Pages: 244
Title: Inspector Matadeen On The Moon
Author: Harishankar Parsai
Translator: C. M. Naim
Publisher: Affiliated East-West Press
Blurb: Known for his bold, satirical revelations, Harishankar Parsai leaves no stone unturned to expose the murky moss of the society we live in. Casteists or politicians, bureaucrats or manipulators, none escape the scathing commentary of Parsai. Written almost forty years ago, the 21 stories couldn’t be more topical and still inspire a hearty laugh. A not-to-be-missed volume for all who enjoy a plurality of language.
Price: Rs. – || Pages: 198
This list of books is curated by Amritesh Mukherjee for Purple Pencil Project’s Instagram.