New Releases from Asia – August 2020


Turmeric Nation: A Passage through India’s Tastes by Shylashri Shankar 

  • Publisher: Speaking Tiger Books
  • Year of publication: 2020 / August
  • Pages: 336
  • Price: INR 499
  • Releasing Soon

Book Blurb

What exactly is ‘Indian’ food? Can it be classified by region, or religion, or ritual? What are the culinary commonalities across the Indian subcontinent? Do we Indians have a sense of collective self when it comes to cuisine? Or is the pluralism in our food habits and choices the only identity we have ever needed? 

Turmeric Nation is an ambitious and insightful project which answers these questions, and then quite a few more. Through a series of fascinating essays— delving into geography, history, myth, sociology, film, literature and personal experience—Shylashri Shankar traces the myriad patterns that have formed Indian food cultures, taste preferences and cooking traditions. From Dalit ‘haldiya dal’ to the last meal of the Buddha; from aphrodisiacs listed in the Kama Sutra to sacred foods offered to gods and prophets; from the use of food as a means of state control in contemporary India to the role of lemonade in stoking rebellion in 19th-century Bengal; from the connection between death and feasting and between fasting and pleasure, this book offers a layered and revealing portrait of India, as a society and a nation, through its enduring relationship with food. 

Author Bio

Shylashri Shankar is a senior fellow at the Centre for Policy Research. She is the author of Scaling Justice: India’s Supreme Court, Anti-Terror Laws and Social Rights and co-author (with Raghav Gaiha) of Battling Corruption: Has NREGA Reached India’s Rural Poor? She has also written on judicial activism in India and Sri Lanka, transformative courts in the Global South, cross-judicial engagement on secularism in India, Sri Lanka and South Africa, ethnic conflict in South Asia and the Middle East, and on the politics and impact of anti-poverty programs.


The Lost Heroine: A Novel by Vinu Abraham, translated from Malayalam by C.S. Venkiteswaran and Arathy Ashok   

  • Publisher: Speaking Tiger Books
  • Year of publication: 2020 / August
  • Pages: 176
  • Price: INR 299
  • Releasing Soon

Book Blurb

Growing up in a  district  in Kerala, spinning idle dreams as she worked in the fields, Rosy had never been to the cinema.  Her only brush with fame had been to act in the local Kakkarissi plays.  So when Johnson Sir, her well-to-do neighbour, asked if she would like to play the role of heroine in a movie his friend Daniel was making, Rosy could scarcely believe it. 

In a matter of weeks, Rosy, a poor Dalit Christian girl of the Pulaya caste, was transformed into Sarojini – the beautiful Nair girl who lived in a grand tharavad, wore mundus and blouses of the finest silk and gold jewellery from head to toe. Sarojini, with whom the handsome Jayachandran falls in love at first sight as she sits at her window playing the veena.

Rosy’s dream world comes to an end when the last scene is shot.  A harsh reality awaits her when the film is screened at the Capitol Theatre in Trivandrum.  There is shock and horror in the audience as the film rolls.  

All hell breaks loose, and Rosy narrowly escapes death only to spend the rest of her life in anonymity. It is only in a forgotten roll of film that their story lives on. The story of Vighathakumaran (The Lost Child), the first film ever to be made in Malayalam, in the year 1928.

This poignant translation by C.S. Venkiteswaran and Arathy Ashok brings alive the world of early Malayalam cinema and the people who pioneered it, weaving within it a universal story of ambition, desire and the faultlines of caste and religious bigotry. 

Author Bio

Vinu Abraham is a well-known writer of short stories, novels, film scripts and essays in Malayalam. He has published twenty-three books, including eleven short story collections and four novels. A winner of several prestigious Malayalam literary awards, he has also won the Best Scriptwriter Award for the film Parudeesa in the Mexico International Film Festival. A native of Nedungadappally in Pathanamthitta district of Kerala, he lives in Thiruvananthapuram.

Translators Bio

C.S. Venkiteswaran is a reputed film critic and essayist writing in both Malayalam and English.

Arathy Ashok is a professor of English who engages in translations and other writings.


Quest for Restoring Financial Stability in India by Viral V. Acharya

  • Publisher: SAGE Response / SAGE Publications India
  • Year of publication: 2020 / July-end
  • Pages: 396
  • Price: INR 695

Book Blurb

Beyond the headline-grabbing issues, the Indian economy is struggling to solve a critical problem: How to restore and maintain financial stability on a durable basis. In this book titled, Quest for Restoring Financial Stability in India, Former Deputy Governor of RBI, Dr. Viral V. Acharya, talks about his quest for restoring financial stability in India and offers a concrete plan for sustained improvement. Dr. Acharya shares a feasible plan to address the recapitalization needs of public sector banks, offering solutions on how to improve credit allocation by credit intermediaries and establish viable and efficient capital markets. Elucidating the need-of-the-hour reforms, this book also raises several stark and unanswered questions related to the re-emergence of fiscal dominance in India, not just of monetary policy tools but also of banking regulations. It makes a persuasive case for striking the right balance between the government, central bank, private sector and markets, in order to improve long-run growth prospects for the real economy. 

Author Bio

Viral V. Acharya is the C. V. Starr Professor of Economics in the Department of Finance at New York University Stern School of Business (NYU Stern). He was the Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) from 23 January 2017 to 23 July 2019, in charge of monetary policy, financial markets, financial stability and research. Dr. Acharya has been the Director of the National Stock Exchange of India and the NYU Stern Initiative on the Study of Indian Capital Markets, and a member of the Economic Advisory Committee of the Financial Industry Regulation Authority (FINRA), International Advisory Board of the Securities Exchange Board of India, Advisory Council of the Bombay Stock Exchange Training Institute and Academic Research Council Member of the Center for Advanced Financial Research and Learning (CAFRAL, India). In addition, he has served as an academic advisor to the Federal Reserve Banks of Chicago, Cleveland, New York and Philadelphia; the Federal Reserve Board of Governors and the Advisory Scientific Council of the European Systemic Risk Board.


Get Your Next Promotion by Manbir Kaur

Kaur_Get your next promotion
  • Publisher: SAGE Response / SAGE Publications India
  • Year of publication: 2020 / August
  • Pages: 280
  • Price: INR 495

Book Blurb

Seeking your next promotion but not quite there yet? Rising up in your career shouldn’t be left to chance. 

Get Your Next Promotion makes you understand why some people get promoted while some get stuck. 

There are a few things that stop professionals from growing beyond mid-level management. Here is a chance to understand the problems and the challenges that you may have been facing and why your current efforts may no longer lead you to your next promotion. 

Each person must find their own path up to the mountain peak, yet to complete the feat successfully, they still need the same universal strengths, skills and tools. One may favour certain strengths or tools over the others but missing on some may lead to failure. Similarly, while there cannot be a single formula for progressing up the career path, this book reveals the universal abilities that all must possess to become great leaders through ten intriguing stories. Each story focuses on a specific facet of your next promotion while tracing the career of a leader who used it effectively.

The book helps you understand what you need to do, why you need to do it and how you can do it. And well, if you have not started already, you may be getting late! 

So grab your copy and get ready for your next promotion!

Author Bio

Manbir is an Executive and Leadership Coach (Professional Certificated Coach, PCC-ICF). She is also a Conversational Intelligence (C-IQ) Enhanced Skills Practitioner and a key-note speaker.

She specializes in coaching leaders from technology organizations. Manbir helps leaders and entrepreneurs to align themselves and their teams to the strategic goals, unleash their own and their team’s potential. Over years, she has developed specific frameworks to help organizations and leaders achieve success in the most effective way. Her frameworks make coaching progress measurable and she believes in creating value for her clients in every engagement. Her clients include executives from various technology companies from India, UK, USA, Middle East and so on.

She is also the author of the book Are You The Leader You Want To Be? Her book combines various principles, studies and practices to present a path-breaking, five-part framework called HUMAN which helps engage your teams in a human way. The book presents a business story-based narrative, which has been very well received by the readers. This book was nominated as top 5 Business Books in India for BBLF CK Prahalad Best Business Book Award 2019.


Mohini: The Enchantress by Anuja Chandramouli

  • Publisher: Rupa Publications
  • Year of Publication: 10 August, 2020
  • Pages: 240
  • Price: Rs. 295/-

Book Blurb

Elusive as a fragment of a forgotten dream, fragile as a figment from fantasy, Mohini is perfection made possible.

Distilled from the essence of Vishnu, Mohini the Enchantress is a part of him and yet she revels in the autonomy and extraordinary powers of beauty, magic and enchantment that are hers to wield. She is loved and desired by all in existence and yet, she is elusive tantalizing temptress, traipsing her way across the topsy-turvy terrain of fable and myth.
Mohini’s meandering path will see her in the thick of things as the devas and asuras try to get their hands on amrita—the nectar of immortality, blunder into a love triangle that will Spark a bloody war, fulfil the last wish of a dead hero, and traipse into a romantic tryst with Mahadeva. She also becomes the mother of shastha, a beacon of hope for all who are considered oddities by a spiteful society that recognizes only two genders.
Set against the tumult and intrigue of a celestial quest for immortality, Anuja Chandramouli brings the extraordinary saga of Mohini to vivid life. She takes the reader on a dizzying ride through the shifting sands of time, expertly navigating the quagmire of gender, love, lust and desire, deftly untangling the threads of tall tales and terrible truths, while spinning a deliciously entertaining yarn for the ages.

Author Bio

Anuja Chandramouli is a best-selling author and widely regarded as one of the finest writers in mythological fiction and fantasy. She followed up her highly acclaimed debut novel, Arjuna: Saga of a Pandava Warrior-Prince, which was named as one of the top five bestsellers in the Indian writing category for the year 2012 by Amazon India, with Kamadeva: The God of Desire, Shakti: The Divine Feminine, Yama’s Lieutenant and its sequel: Yama’s Lieutenant and the Stone Witch and Kartikeya: The Destroyer’s Son. Her articles, short stories and book reviews appear in various publications like The New Indian Express, The Hindu and Femina. An accomplished orator and storyteller, Chandramouli regularly conducts workshops on creative writing, mythology and empowerment in schools and colleges across the country. She is a student of classical dance and yoga.


You Just Got Cheated: Understanding White Collar Crimes by Dr. Sibichen K. Mathew 

Mathew_You just got cheated_Final
  • Publisher: SAGE Response / SAGE Publications India
  • Year of publication: 2020 / August
  • Pages: 400
  • Price: INR 595

Book Blurb

Most of us have been victims of frauds and related crimes at some point or the other in our lives. We may not have answers to pertinent questions such as: Who is responsible for the fraud committed? Why do people commit white collar crimes? What makes us vulnerable to such crimes? Who could have prevented the crime? What could individuals and entities do to prevent the crime in future and what action should we take to recover the losses? Unlike street crimes where victims are clearly identified and their losses and concerns are suitably recorded and attended to, the victims of White Collar Crimes are not given proper attention and many times such crimes are considered to be ‘victim less’.

This book attempts to examine the above questions by analyzing various types of white collar crimes, drawing examples of such crimes that have happened across the world. History reveals that crimes travel across the globe in time as criminals learn from each other for their criminal indulgences. We hear about a crime elsewhere – in a different city or a country – and within no time you find the same thing happening with necessary improvisation in our own neighborhood.

When the corporate criminals, opportunist and greedy public servants join hands, to indulge in various types of crimes, the regulatory enforcement becomes lax, farce and ineffective. In the end, the victims – the public who were adversely impacted, the shareholders who lost their investments, the consumers who got a raw deal, the employees who lost their jobs and the financiers who lost what they lent – suffer without any recourse. The book culminates with two chapters exclusively on answering questions such as – Why do people commit white collar crime? Why do people fall victim to white collar crime and how to curb this menace? The book concludes with an analysis of whistleblowers and the related challenges and safeguards.

As scams and frauds perpetuate, there is a need for a systematic analysis of the pattern, the impact and the preventive steps. The insights given in the book would be helpful for professionals as well as common citizens.

Author Bio

Sibichen K. Mathew is a Commissioner of Income Tax in the Indian Revenue Service (IRS). He is a passionate researcher, blogger, TEDx Speaker and author of bestselling books. His academic qualifications include postgraduation in sociology from the Loyola College in University of Kerala (university topper), postgraduation in public policy and management from Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Bangalore, with corporate governance as an elective course, PhD in fiscal sociology from Bharathiar University, MPhil in social systems from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi, and LLB from Karnataka State Law University (college topper and university rank holder). He is a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) from Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, Texas. He is also the recipient of the UGC Research Fellowship and has been awarded gold medals from the University of Kerala, National Police Academy and National Academy of Direct Taxes. He has received training in international public policy from Syracuse University and in corporate taxation and advocacy skills from Duke University. Dr. Mathew is also a Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM). He has been a visiting associate in IIM Bangalore. His earlier books are When the Boss is Wrong: Making and Unmaking of the Leader within You and Making People Pay: The Economic Sociology of Taxation. This book is a culmination of his research and analysis in the area of white-collar crimes for more than six years.


And The Walls Come Crumbling Down by Tania De Rozario

  • Publisher: Gaudy Boy
  • Year of publication: October 2020
  • Pages: 144
  • Price: $16.00
  • Releasing Soon

Book Blurb

If home is not a building, what is it? If home is not a place, what is it? If home is not a person, what is it?

And the Walls Come Crumbling Down features a young queer woman in Singapore unable to find safety and refuge in her biological family or country of birth. But she insists on home and history. Refusing sanitized orderliness, she chooses to build a life that embraces the mess and excess of human existence. Part queer memoir and part poetic rumination, Tania De Rozario’s work masterfully lays bare the love, pain, and precarity experienced by those who must forge their own home.

Author Bio

A writer and an artist, Tania De Rozario is the author of Tender Delirium and Somewhere Else, Another You, both from Math Paper Press. Born in Singapore, she lives and works on the traditional unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations (Vancouver).


On the trail of Buddha – A Journey to the East by Deepankar Aron

  • Publisher: Niyogi Books 
  • Year of Publishing: 10th July, 2020
  • Pages: 310
  • Price: INR 1995

Book Blurb

On the Trail of Buddha—A Journey to the East is a unique sojourn in search of the spiritual, philosophical, and cultural linkages that bind India to the East Asian civilizations. From the wandering monks of Asia to the temples and monasteries they visited; from the statues and frescoes in grottoes to those in the museums; from the diverse ethnicities of the people to their common gods and goddesses—the book explores the ‘ancient India’, beautifully preserved in the traditions, art, and architecture of China, as also in Mongolia, Korea and Japan, to where it spread from China.

About the Author

Deepankar Aron, an alumnus of IIT Delhi, recognized with the Presidential Award for his contribution as an Indian Revenue Service officer, is also a passionate traveller and a consummate photographer and writer. His articles have, over the years, appeared in various magazines and newspapers. World Heritage Sites of Uttarakhand, his first pictorial book was published in 2010.


A BEND IN TIMEWritings by Children on the COVID-19 Pandemic

  • Publisher: Talking Cub
  • No. of Pages: 176 pages
  • Release Date: 15th July, 2020
  • Price: Rs. 199/-

Book Blurb

In this collection of stories and essays by children and young adults from different parts of India, we see unbridled imagination and empathy, as they write about what is happening around them. While one writer wonders why her dreams have gone missing, another turns to history to see what lockdowns would have been like in ancient times. There are heartrending and deeply emotional stories of lives lost and the stark inequalities that the pandemic has laid bare. Some writers wonder if the star of hope will ever shine again, and others look for relief in scientific thought, in writing, and in books.

Throughout the collection there runs a sense of time lost and gained—of how this phase of global history is a bend in time. Intensely honest, wise yet innocent, thoughtful and full of hope, this anthology, introduced by award-winning children’s writer Bijal Vachharajani, is a peek into the mind of a generation that could re-imagine our world and, if we are lucky, make it safer, wiser and more compassionate.

Contributing Authors

Archita Agrawal | Ishaan Ghosh | Lavanya Sinha | Mira Gupta | Omkar Mantri | Sharvari Sonawani | Shiv Malik | Shivani Sharma | Shreya Aiyer | Sofia Kakar | Tishya Tara | Uk!Yo

About the Publisher

Talking Cub is the children’s imprint of independent publishing house Speaking Tiger Books. Publishing since 2018, Talking Cub has established itself as an imprint with exciting books, both fiction and non-fiction, for children of all ages. Talking Cub publishes poetry, short stories, novels, books on history, biographies, picture books and more. Talking Cub has published authors such as Jerry Pinto, Bulbul Sharma, Paro Anand, Ranjit Lal, Subhadra Sen Gupta, Deepa Agarwal, Bijal Vachharajani, Andaleeb Wajid and many others. Talking Cub books have appeared in many recommended reading lists and have received critical recognition as well.


Mandu- The Romance of Roopmati and Baz Bahadur by Malathi Ramachandran

  • Publisher: Niyogi Books Pvt Ltd
  • Release Date: 1 July 2020
  • Pages: 217
  • Price: Rs. 300/-

Book Blurb

Set in 16th century India, this novel is inspired by the legend of the young sultan, Baz Bahadur, and the beautiful peasant girl, Roopmati, who come together over their common love for classical music. He is a man who can have any woman, and she is a woman too proud to ever be part of his harem.

But night after night, as they sing together in the enchanting world of Mandu, the fortress city lit up with lanterns and throbbing to the beat of ghungroos and tablas, a magic begins to happen. Baz and Roopmati fall in love. But, far away, in Agra, the Mughal Emperor, Akbar, is planning his campaigns and Mandu has been pinned on his map as a kingdom to be captured. Will Baz be able to protect his capital, and more importantly, the woman he loves, from the enemy forces? 

About the Author

Malathi Ramachandran is the author of three novels; this is her fourth. A Masters in Mass Communications, she dabbled with writing middles, features, and travelogues before finding her forte in fiction. Her short stories have been published in magazines and anthologies. Her passion for the history and cultural heritage of the country takes her to little known towns and hamlets where she often finds stories to share. Malathi’s last book in this genre, The Legend of Kuldhara, recreates the story of an abandoned village in the Rajasthan desert and the lives that were changed forever one fateful night.


The Loneliness of Hira Baruah (stories by Arupa Patangia Kalita)

  • Publisher: PAN Macmillan Publishing India Pvt Limited
  • Release Date: 29 July 2020
  • No. of pages: 240
  • Price: Rs. 450/-

Book Blurb


‘[This] is a collection of short stories reflecting the humanitarian outlook and sincerity of the author. The lucid style of writing and the suggestiveness in the language are remarkable in themselves. As such [it should be] considered as an important contribution to the genre of Indian fiction in Assamese’ 

Sahitya Akademi Award Citation

‘Patangia’s fiction, over the last two decades, has repeatedly knocked on the doors of [our] conscience’ 

Open

Hira Barua, an ageing widow living in a conflict-ridden region of Assam with her beloved Tibetan spaniel fears she is beginning to resemble a lonely Englishwoman from her past. A vicious sexual assault by the invading military drives a group of women into a shelter home. On a fateful night, a group of prostitutes make an extraordinary sacrifice for the safety of their companions.

In these, and thirteen other piercing, intimate portraits, women navigate family, violence, trauma, ambition and domesticity with caution, grace and a quiet resilience.Originally published as Mariam Austin othoba Hira Barua, this remarkable collection by one of Assam’s finest living writers won the Sahitya Akademi Award in 2014. In this wonderful English translation by Ranjita Biswas, Arupa Patangia Kalita’s powerful voice is brought to fresh and vivid life. Written in a variety of styles, from gritty social realism, folklore to magical realism, The Loneliness of Hira Barua is a modern classic of Indian literature.

About the Author

Arupa Patangia Kalita is one of the leading, award-winning voices in contemporary Assamese literature. Together she has written more than twenty novels and short-story collections. She won the Sahitya Akademi Award in 2014 for Mariam Austin othoba Hira Barua,which this book offers in English translation. Arupa is also a recipient of the Bharatiya Bhasha Parishad Award, the Katha Prize, the Prabina Saikia Award, the Assam Valley Literary Award and the Troilokyanath Goswami Memorial Award. The English translation of her novel Felanee (2011) was shortlisted for the Crossword Book Award. Her books have been translated into Bengali, English and Hindi. She recently retired from the English department at Tangla College, Assam.

Ranjita Biswas is an award-winning translator of fiction, a short-story writer, journalist and travel writer. Her translations include Written in Tears, an anthology of stories by Arupa Patangia Kalita, which was a recipient of Sahitya Akademi’s Best Translation Award in English, and As the River Flows. She has written a travelogue titled Notes from a Spanish Diary.