New Releases from asia- September 2020

The Brass Notebook: A Memoir by Devaki Jain

  • Publisher: Speaking Tiger
  • Year of publication: 2020 / September
  • Pages: 232
  • Price: INR 599

Book Blurb

In this no-holds-barred memoir, Devaki Jain begins with her childhood in south India, a life of comfort and ease with a father who served as dewan in the Princely States of Mysore and Gwalior. But there were restrictions too, that come with growing up in an orthodox Tamil Brahmin family, as well as the rarely spoken about dangers of predatory male relatives. Ruskin College, Oxford, gave her her first taste of freedom in 1955, at the age of 22. Oxford brought her a degree in philosophy and economics—as well as hardship, as she washed dishes in a cafe to pay her fees. It was here, too, that she had her early encounters with the sensual life. With rare candour, she writes of her romantic liaisons in Oxford and Harvard, and falling in love with her ‘unsuitable boy’—her husband,  Lakshmi Jain, whom she married against her beloved father’s wishes.

Devaki’s professional life saw her becoming deeply involved with the cause of ‘poor’ women workers in the informal economy, for whom she strove to get a better deal. In the international arena, she joined cause with the concerns of the colonized nations of the south, as they fought to make their voices heard against the rich and powerful nations of the former colonizers.

Her work brought her into contact with world leaders and thinkers, amongst them, Vinoba Bhave, Nelson Mandela, Henry Kissinger, and Iris Murdoch.

Author Bio

Devaki Jain graduated in economics and philosophy from St Anne’s College, Oxford and is an Honorary Fellow of the college. She is a recipient of the Padma Bhushan (2006) and an honorary doctorate from the University of Westville, Durban, South Africa.

A Plate of White Marble by Bani Basu

  • Publisher: Niyogi Books Pvt Ltd
  • Year of publication: 2020 / September
  • Pages: 251
  • Price: INR 450

Book Blurb

First published in 1990 in the original Bengali, A Plate of White Marble tells the tale of the ‘new woman’ of an era that just witnessed the independence of a nation. Bandana, the protagonist, though grieves over her husband’s early death, never conforms to the social connotation and ideals of ‘widowhood’, thanks to her uncle. She dares to begin her life afresh in every possible sense. But naturally, the road proves to be full of thorns as she gradually faces bitterness from many quarters of the society. The only thing she clings to is her son,  but once that anchor too is lost, she leaves behind the safe concrete walls of what she used to consider ‘home’, only to work for a far greater cause—she joins a children’s home  to work for those who need her the most.

This first translation brings a significant Bengali novel with important social concerns to a wider audience.   

The Heart Ask Pleasure First by Karuna Ezara Parikh

An extraordinary tale of love in a world being torn asunder.

  • Publisher : Picador India
  • Year of Publication: 21 September 2020
  • Pages: 324 pages
  • Price: Rs. 699/-

Advance Praise

‘A luminous, hypnotic novel, as much about the beauty of language as it is about the struggles of life’ — Ann Patchett

‘A tender, elegant exploration of what it means to love as the world devolves into division and chaos’ — Prayaag Akbar

‘Enthralling and affecting, The Heart Asks Pleasure First is an intoxicating and immersive exploration of love and faith’ — Lisa Ray

‘Evocative and transporting … This is a fable for our time’ — Avni Doshi

‘Enchanting, poignant and powerful … it left me mesmerized’ — Aanchal Malhotra

Book Blurb

It is 2001 and Daya and Aaftab have just met in a park in Cardiff. She is studying ballet and he is practising in a law firm. She falls madly in love. He does, but he also cannot, because he is Muslim and there are certain rules.
Set in a world of students, Karuna Ezara Parikh sets up a dazzling framework of impossible, forbidden love, difficult joyous friendship, as she delves into migration, Islamophobia and jihad in the wake of a cataclysmic terror event that will have dangerous ramifications the world over.
Brilliantly crafted, this magical first novel reveals with great power and grace both the agony and the ecstasy of being human.

Author Bio

Karuna Ezara Parikh is a former model and television presenter. She studied Journalism, Film & Broadcasting at Cardiff University. Her written work has been published in Vogue, Wire, Outlook, Tehelka, Firstpost, Open and Lonely Planet. She lives in Calcutta with her husband and their dog. The Heart Asks Pleasure First is her first book.

Bride of the Forest: The Untold Story of Yayati’s Daughter by Madhavi S. Mahadevan

  • Publisher: Speaking Tiger
  • Year of publication: 2020 / September
  • Pages: 336
  • Price: INR 499

Book Blurb

The myth of Drishadvati appears in the Mahabharata as the ‘story of the salvation of kings by a maiden.’ While tales of surrogacy abound in the Indian epics, this is the first known example of a womb-on-rent. This strange story—of a girl whose fertility was bartered repeatedly in exchange for priceless horses—has intrigued modern scholars, playwrights and authors for its cultural significance. While earlier adaptations have cast its theme as the exploitation of a helpless woman, Bride of the Forest presents it as the story of girl who is surprisingly radical in her ultimate rejection of patriarchy.

Staying true to the original myths and springing entirely from the world of the Mahabharata, the novel brings to life several other characters: Garuda, the divine bird who flies Lord Vishnu around the world: the proud kings of Ayodhya, Pratisthan and Kashi; the arrogant queen, Devayani, and her duplicitous maid—whose stories reveal an intricate tapestry of human and divine relationships. Intertwined in the tales of traditional rivalries is the age-old war between the asuras and the devas that gave rise to the perennial male quest for immortality, transmuted into the human desire for sons that lies at the root of commercial surrogacy even today. However, it is the story of Drishadvati, her sacrifice and her nobility, that will enchant the reader.

Author Bio

Madhavi Mahadevan has published two collections of short stories, Paltan Tales and Doppelganger, and an e-novella, Swansong. Her first novel, The Kaunteyas, was a retelling of the Mahabharata from the viewpoint of Kunti, the mother of the Pandavas. She has also written fiction for children.

Brink by S. L. Bhyrappa

Book Blurb

The English translation of the epic Kannada novel Anchu by the renowned author S.L. Bhyrappa, Brink is a love saga between Somashekhar, a widower, and Amrita, an estranged woman. The novel deliberates on the moral, philosophical, and physical aspects of love between a man and a woman. At the core of the story is compassion, and Somashekhar is the very personification of compassion. He brings love and warmth into Dr. Amrita’s melancholic life. But time and again, she loses her temper and undergoes swift mood changes. In such times, she inflicts pain and torture on Somashekhar in spite of his sincere love for her. Will Somashekhar be able to help her overcome depression by his perseverance and sacrifice? An enthralling read, the novel has stood the test of time like Bhyrappa’s other novels. Packed with internal drama, tension, and flashbacks, the book promises to impart an aesthetic experience to the reader.

The Evening and The Morning by Ken Follett

  • No. of pages : 832 pages
  • Publisher : Pan Macmillan
  • Releasing Date: 15 September 2020
  • Price: INR 499

Book Blurb

From the bestselling author Ken FollettThe Evening and the Morning is a historical epic that will end where The Pillars of the Earth begins.

It is 997 CE, the end of the Dark Ages, and England faces attacks from the Welsh in the west and the Vikings in the east. Life is hard, and those with power wield it harshly, bending justice according to their will – often in conflict with the king. With his grip on the country fragile and with no clear rule of law, chaos and bloodshed reign.

Into this uncertain world three people come to the fore: a young boatbuilder, who dreams of a better future when a devastating Viking raid shatters the life that he and the woman he loves hoped for; a Norman noblewoman, who follows her beloved husband across the sea to a new land only to find her life there shockingly different; and a capable monk at Shiring Abbey, who dreams of transforming his humble abbey into a centre of learning admired throughout Europe.

Now, with England at the dawn of the Middle Ages, these three people will each come into dangerous conflict with a ruthless bishop, who will do anything to increase his wealth and power, in an epic tale of ambition and rivalry, death and birth, and love and hate.

Thirty years ago we were introduced to Kingsbridge in The Pillars of the Earth, and now in this masterful prequel international bestseller, Ken Follett will take us on a journey into a rich past, which will end where his masterpiece begins.

Author Bio

Ken Follett was twenty-seven when he wrote Eye of the Needle, an award-winning thriller that became an international bestseller. He then surprised everyone with The Pillars of the Earth, about the building of a cathedral in the Middle Ages, which continues to captivate millions of readers all over the world and its long-awaited sequel, World Without End, followed by the third novel in the Kingsbridge series A Column of Fire. He has written the bestselling Century trilogy, which comprises Fall of GiantsWinter of the World and Edge of Eternity.

The Indian Boss At Work: Thinking Global, Acting Indian by Steve Correa

  • Publisher: SAGE Response / SAGE Publications India
  • Year of publication: 2020 / September
  • Pages: 356
  • Price: INR 695

Book Blurb

Journey into the kaleidoscope of Indian business and explore the ‘context and forces’ and worldview of Indian leaders. Unravel secrets to building successful companies based on generational learnings, attitudes and capabilities.

Read through the narratives of top Indian bosses where they reflect on their ‘Indian-ness’ that helped them transform into global leaders. From Harsh Mariwala to Som Mittal to women leaders such as Naina Lal Kidwai and Kiran Majumdar Shaw, there are many distinguished names in this book that add to the Indian leadership fold.  

The book responds to oft asked questions such as: What are the winning traits of Indian bosses? What cultural influences have shaped their mindsets? What makes them adaptable in any business situation? What can the West learn from India on leadership?

Discover and leverage: 

• The pluralistic notion of Indianness

• Forces of desh (place) and kaal (time)

• The praxis of collectivism and hierarchy 

• Context sensitivity and co-holding paradoxes and dilemmas

• Multifacets of the Indian leader

• Insights from ancient inheritance and modern legacy

• Awareness of what impedes women leaders

• The opportunity for Indian youth

The wisdom of Indian-ness—‘the World is One’—belongs to all humans. It invites the corporate Rishi within us, to act with ecological balance, inclusion and harmony.   

Author Bio

Steve Correa is an XLRI graduate, a graduate in Commerce, and Law and a Chevening Scholar. He currently works as an Independent Executive Coach and OD Consultant and is a Fellow of Sumedhas – Academy for Human Context. Steve has over three decades of corporate experience. Of this, 18+ years has been as Chief Human Resource Officer, with overall responsibility for the HR function. He has worked across a wide spectrum of enterprises, ranging from major global corporates (MNC’s) to family led professional businesses. He has diverse industry exposure that include Pharmaceuticals, Office Automation, FMCG, Telecommunications, IT/ITES and Alcohol Beverage. His exposure spans across India as well as abroad.

Delhi in Historical Perspectives by Late Professor K. A. Nizami and Dr Ather Farouqui

  • No. of pages : 184 pages
  • Publisher : Oxford Unity Press India
  • Price: INR 1000

Book Blurb

Many books have been written on the fascinating and chequered history of the city of Delhi. Few, however, have the breadth and scope of K.A. Nizami’s book, first published in Urdu in 1972. It captures in rich detail the cultural, social, economic and spiritual fabric of the city over seven centuries, using original literary, travel, biographical, hagiographical and administrative accounts in Persian, Hindavi and Urdu.

Despite the political turbulence during this long stretch of time spanning the Sultanate and Mughal periods, culturally the city retained its basic composite and tolerant character-a tolerance and amity bred in the main in the city’s many Sufi khaneqas. And for this reason, economic and political circumstances notwithstanding, culturally and socially the city continued to bloom. The poetry of Amir Khusrau and Ghalib are high points in the city’s cultural and literary efflorescence and the book devotes considerable space to them.

About the Author

Late Professor K.A. Nizami was Professor and Vice Chancellor, Department of History, Aligarh Muslim University; He was also the Indian Ambassador to Syria from 1975-77 Dr Ather Farouqui is the General Secretary, Anjuman-i Taraqqi-i Urdu, New Delhi.

Murder Milestone by Salil Desai

  • No. of pages : 320 pages
  • Publisher : Fingerprint! Publishing
  • Release Date: 1 August 2020
  • Price: INR 250

Book Blurb

HAPPY HANGING!” Saralkar growled with all the spite in his system and stormed out of the cell.

Weeks before serial killer Dharmesh Solanki is to be executed, he wickedly burdens Senior Inspector Saralkar with a macabre secret Saralkar would’ve been better off not knowing.

Impelled to verify Solanki’s disturbing claim, Saralkar and PSI Motkar reopen the sixteen-year-old case, for which the senior inspector had won a police medal. And out tumble intriguing leads and shocking facts that had fallen through the cracks back then.

Worse, only a motley group of elusive characters might form the shaky bridge to the murky truth—a missing ex-constable, a gluttonous witness who had narrowly escaped being murdered by Solanki, Solanki’s biographer, the serial killer’s own son, and the daughter of one of his victims.

Meanwhile another dangerous murderer is busy prowling around for victims to notch up an impressive body count. In the midst of these crazy events, Saralkar’s marriage faces rough weather, while Motkar’s hands are full, investigating a trail of mysterious suicides.

As the duo struggle to cope, personal tragedy strikes Saralkar and a tip-off propels Motkar into confronting an astonishingly diabolical psychopath on his own.

Will Motkar prove up to the challenge? Will Saralkar recover his mojo in time? And will Saralkar and Motkar ever make sense of the complicated chain of murders and suicides and the dark secret of a despicable serial killer sentenced to death?

About the Author

Salil Desai is an author, columnist and film-maker based in Pune. Murder Milestone (2020) is the fourth book of his much-acclaimed Inspector Saralkar Mystery Series, on the heels of 3 and a Half Murders (2017), The Murder of Sonia Raikkonen (2015) and Killing Ashish Karve (2014). The Inspector Saralkar Mystery series has been optioned by Times Studio Originals (now Junglee Pictures) for adaptation into a web series. Salil’s other popular books are Murder on a Side Street (2011), Lost Libido and Other Gulp Fiction (2012), as well as The Sane Psychopath (2018), the screen rights of which have been picked up by Endemol India recently. Over the years, Salil’s books have received good reviews in The Hindu, New Indian Express, The Pioneer, Bangalore Mirror, DNA, First City, The Tribune, etc.

His work has been praised by veteran authors Dr Shashi Tharoor, Shobhaa De and film-makers Sriram Raghavan and Sujoy Ghosh. An alumnus of Film & Television Institute of India (FTII), Salil also conducts intensive workshops in creative fiction writing, story and scenario design, screenplay writing and film-making at leading liberal arts institutions, media and communication colleges and other renowned organizations across India. As a newspaper columnist, over 400 articles, op-ed pieces, features and travelogues written by him have appeared in The Times of India, Indian Express, DNA, The Tribune, Reader’s Digest, Deccan Herald, The Hindu, etc. Salil was also one of the four international authors worldwide selected for the HALD International Writers’ Residency in Denmark, hosted by the Danish Centre for Writers & Translators in June 2016. For more info, visit

Sacred and Profane: Unusual Customs and Strange Rituals by G. S. Sachdeva

  • Publisher: SAGE Select / SAGE Publications India
  • Year of publication: 2020 / September
  • Pages: 272
  • Price: INR 495

Book Blurb

The battle between scientific temper and superstition has raged since ages. One may believe that unusual rituals and customs are extinct in the times of artificial intelligence and bots, but it is far from the truth as this book will prove.

As bizarre as it might seem, in France one can marry a dead person, and in Africa a married woman can marry another married woman as a practical way of solving the social problem of old-age neglect.

This book is a collection of unusual beliefs, rituals and customs that are practiced by ordinary people all around the world. It should be read to build awareness about these rituals and to know about the many shades of faith in this world we inhabit. Sacred and Profane is not a religious exposition or vindication of rituals; it aims to arouse human curiosity about such beliefs while shedding light on some important social issues.

Author Bio

Dr. Gurbachan Singh Sachdeva graduated with Social Psychology, did his Masters in Economics from Delhi School of Economics, Delhi and culminated his education with Doctorate in Law from School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. He, nevertheless, sustained his interest in Sociology and allied aspects of psychology, anthropology and theology. He thus remained a keen observer of society, its social processes and societal expressions. Religious customs, cultural festivals and social rituals fascinated him and he delved into their origins, legends behind them and the purpose of ostensive observances. He started as Commissioned Officer in the Indian Air Force and took voluntary retirement in the rank of Wing Commander in 1986. This was his truck with regimented life and its ramifications like strict discipline and hard duties yet with finesse in etiquette and social niceties. He then worked for HCL Limited and loved freedom of action in a competitive atmosphere of the corporate world. Next, he joined the German Embassy at Delhi as Legal Advisor and got elevated as Legal Counsellor, a designation rarely conferred on local staff.

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