New Releases from Asia: August, 2019
Title: Not Native: Short Stories of Immigrant Life in an In-Between World
Author: Murali Kamma
Publisher: Wising Up Press
Year of publication: 2019
Pages: 190 pages
Price: $20 ($15 if using PayPal)
Links if any: www.MuraliKamma.com
About: In this debut collection focusing on Indian immigrants in the United States, characters deal with conflict, growth, dislocation, and renewal in a new world. But their old world is present as well, and this “in-betweenness” shapes their lives. Once immigration involved leaving all behind, assuming a new identity with your new culture. Now we move back and forth — between continents, cities, our different mores no longer tidily compartmentalised, sometimes more migrant than immigrant. Straddling two worlds, the characters in this book are acute observers—and diffident interpreters—of a much larger world that will never feel fully familiar again.
Title: Kashmir: Rage and Reason
Author: Gowhar Geelani
Publisher: Rupa Publications India
Year of publication: 2019
Price: INR 395
About: Blending analyses with anecdotes, Kashmir: Rage and Reason is the Valley’s new-age writing, which traces, in lucid language, the region’s tortured history, the many facets of Kashmiri nationalism, and the betrayals. The author has woven together his anecdotes and people’s narratives from ground zero to give us the real picture in all its starkness, minus any journalistic dressing.
Title: Wild Boar in the Cane Field
Author: Anniqua Rana
Publisher: She Writes Press
Year of publication: September 2019
Price: Paperback $16 Kindle $9.95
About: One day, a baby girl, Tara, is found, abandoned and covered in flies. She is raised by two mothers in a community rife with rituals and superstition. As she grows, Tara pursues acceptance at all costs. Saffiya, her adoptive mother, and Bhaggan, Saffiya’s maidservant, are victims of the men in their community, and the two women, in turn, struggle and live short but complicated lives. The only way for the villagers to find solace is through the rituals of ancient belief systems. Tara lives in a village that could be any village in South Asia, and she dies, like many young women in the area, during childbirth. Her short life is dedicated to her efforts to find happiness, despite the fact that she has no hope of going to school or making any life choices in the feudal, patriarchal world in which she finds herself. “…the book’s final section is narrated by the swarms of flies that have been observing Tara and the other characters throughout their lives.”
Title: No Illusions in Xanadu
Author: Ruby Gupta
Year of Publication: 2019
Price: Rs 339
About: When the devilishly handsome, legendary Bollywood superstar Rajvir Kapoor is found dead in the thirtieth-floor study of his swanky new home, Xanadu, the entire country is aghast. Barely hours before his death, Xanadu, had been teeming with the pick of the country’s elite: hot-shot celebrities, business magnates and close friends and family of the iconic actor – all of whom had come together for the grandest party Mumbai had ever seen. Investigations reveal that Rajvir Kapoor was murdered, and now everyone is a suspect.
Professor Shantanu Bose, eminent nano-expert and part-time sleuth, a house-guest at the time, is willy-nilly forced to join the investigation. He finds himself in an alien world of the glitterati and their idiosyncrasies, where murky secrets are revealed and facts muddled. As Shantanu struggles to piece together the puzzle amidst the confusing moral codes adopted by the people of this starry realm, glamorous Mumbai seduces him and he finds himself irresistibly attracted to the enchanting prime suspect …Will the professor manage the tightrope walk between emotions and justice?
Title: SMART MICE IN THE LION CITY–A Guide to Hosting Events in Singapore
Author: Kavita Raha
Year of Publication: 2019
About: Did you know that the MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, Exhibitions & Events) industry is one of the fastest growing businesses in the world today, estimated at over $1 trillion in value? Did you know that Singapore is now recognized as one of the leading international destinations for MICE, rapidly climbing to No. 6 in global rankings? Did you also know that there exists an organised ecosystem set-up to facilitate the development of MICE in Singapore and showcase its innovation, state of the art facilities, human capital as well as generous incentives? Smart MICE in the Lion City is a must read for decision makers world-wide looking at Singapore as their next destination for events.
Title: Mid-Autumn Musings
Author: Dr. Aruna Shahani
Year of Publication: 2018
About:The beauty of autumn season inspires and speaks to the poet, as it sings aloud in many tones to sensitise the heart, mind and soul along with the senses.
Mid-Autumn Musings is Aruna’s first solo collection of poems. As a doctor, painter and poet, she observes with a keen eye of detail, people, things, experiences and relationships in her life’s journey, and keeps them well preserved within her for later expression. As a healer, she also seeks solutions.
The book is a mixed basket of poems on issues and situations that have sensitized her, what she feels strongly about, and what flows straight from her heart. Humanity and love, the first religion of mankind, remain in the fore in her musings.
Like the myriad shades and colours the eye experiences in the autumn season, Aruna’s writings touch upon a wide spectrum of subjects from current issues plaguing the world i.e. the effects of escalating use of technology, gender issues, social injustice and oppression, to the universal themes of love, nature, childhood and relationships.
Mid-Autumn Musings is an endeavour to transform the hearts and minds of readers, just as nature sees a beautiful transformation in autumn, in anticipation of a fresh start after the fall. The expression in contemporary free verse, using simple language, is intentional, to reach all readers – initiated and uninitiated.
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