October 25, 2021

KITAAB

Connecting Asian writers with global readers

New Releases from Asia – July 2021

12 min read

A comprehensive list of New Releases from Asia – this list includes some soon-to-release and some already released titles.

Invictus: The Jungle that Made Me by Nidhie Sharma

About the Book

Six children

One treacherous jungle

A gripping story of resilience

Tawang, 10,000 feet above sea level and home to a remote Indian military base at the Indo-China border, is abuzz. Six army children – the oldest, thirteen, the youngest, six – have been missing since daybreak in the surrounding jungles.

With inclement weather, thick cloud cover, swollen streams raging downwards and lurking predators, the six are facing their hardest test yet. As the daunting jungle slowly unravels its plans, the children must find a way out before sundown.

Set against the harsh and inhospitable terrain of Arunachal Pradesh, Invictus is a compelling first-person account of survival against all odds.

About the Author

Nidhie Sharma is a writer–director and the author of Dancing with Demons, India’s first work of fiction on boxing. She studied filmmaking and screenwriting at New York University and New York Film Academy, before which she graduated with honours in English Literature. Nidhie was raised in an armed forces environment and has travelled extensively across the world. Invictus chronicles a real-life event from her childhood. She lives in Mumbai. Nidhie is on Twitter and Instagram as @iamnidhiesharma.


The Window Sill: short stories by Nishi Pulugurtha

About the Book

Twenty stories make up this debut collection of short stories – The Window Sill. Written over a period of time, the stories in the volume reveal characters and situations that one might come across in life. They speak of the everyday, of pain and hurt, of disability, of domestic violence in marriage, of friendships, of growing up, of relationships, trauma, catastrophes and calamities, of the world of children, of the psychological complexities in human behaviour and the triumph of the human spirit that struggles at every step.  

About the Author

Nishi Pulugurtha is an academic and writes short stories, poetry, on travel, film, and Alzheimer’s Disease. Her work has been published in various journals and magazines. Her publications include a monograph on Derozio (2010), a collection of essays on travel, Out in the Open (2019), an edited volume of essays on travel, Across and Beyond  (2020) and a volume  of poems, The Real and the Unreal and Other Poems (2020).


Are You Enjoying? by Mira Sethi

About the Book

‘Are You Enjoying?’ is emotional, equally hilarious, and gutting. I couldn’t put this book down because I’d been welcomed into the most intimate parts of these characters’ lives’ Rupi Kaur

‘Fresh, intelligent, and bold: Mira Sethi’s stories open up fascinating slices of contemporary life in Pakistan’ Mohsin Hamid

Childhood best friends decide to marry in order to keep their sexuality a secret. A young heiress embarks on a secret affair, ending in devastation but not for the party who was braced for it. A glum divorcee reaches out to his American neighbour. A radicalised student’s preparations for his sister’s wedding in Lahore involve beating up the groom. An actress from a sheltered background in Karachi is forced to grow up fast on the set of her first major TV show where the real intrigue takes place off-screen.

From one of Pakistan’s most exciting young writers comes an exhilarating, audacious debut story collection; upending traditional notions of identity, scrutinising the relationship between power and desire, and fizzing with energy and wit

About the Author

Mira Sethi is an actor and a writer. She grew up in Lahore and attended Wellesley College, after which Sethi worked as a books editor at The Wall Street Journal. She has written op-ed pieces for The New York TimesThe Wall Street Journal, and The Guardian. Sethi regularly appears in mainstream Pakistani television series. She lives in Lahore, Karachi, and San Francisco.


Khwabnama by Akhtaruzzaman Elias (Author), Arunava Sinha (Translator)

About the Book

Bengal in the 1940s. Having overcome the famine and the revolt of the sharecroppers, Bengal’s peasants are uniting. Work is scarce and wages are low. There is barely any food to be had. The proposal for the formation of Pakistan, the elections of 1946, and communal riots are rewriting the contours of history furiously. Amidst all this, in an unnamed village, a familiar corporeal spirit plunges into knee-deep mud. This is Tamiz’s father, the man in possession of Khwabnama.

At first glance, Khwabnama is the tale of a harmless young farmhand who becomes a sharecropper and dreams of a future that has everything to do with the land that he cultivates and the soil that he tills. The fabric of his dreams, though, have as much to do with the history of the land as its future, and as much to do with memories as with hope.

In this magnum opus, which documents the Tebhaga movement, wherein peasants demanded two-thirds of the harvest they produced on the land owned by zamindars, Akhtaruzzaman Elias has created an extraordinary tale of magical realism, blending memory with reality, legend with history and the struggle of marginalized people with the stories of their ancestors.

About the Author

Akhtaruzzaman Elias (1943-97) was a Bangladeshi novelist and short-story writer who, despite writing only two novels, is regarded by most critics as being part of the pantheon of great Bengal authors. Chilekothar Sepai (1987) detailed the psychological journey of a man during the turbulent period just prior to Bangladeshi independence in 1971, and offered an unrivalled depiction of life in Puran Dhaka, an old town. Khwabnama (1996) depicts the sociopolitical scene in the rural pre-partition Bangladesh. His many awards include the Bangla Academy Award for Literature (1983), the Kazi Mahbubullah Gold Medal (1996) and the Ekushey Padak (posthumously, 1999).

About the Translator

Arunava Sinha translates fiction, poetry and non-fiction from Bengali to English, and from English to Bengali. Over sixty of his translations have been published so far, and several of them have won or been shortlisted for Indian and international awards.


Super Scaling by Alvin Poh

Alvin Poh, the founder of Vodien Internet Solutions, is proud to announce the official publication of his first ever book, Super Scaling, today. Super Scaling is now available at all major bookstores and platforms in Singapore as both physical and digital copies.

Best known for his S$30 million sale of Vodien in 2017, Alvin has distilled over 17 years of experience running a profitable and stable business into a guidebook for founders and business leaders looking for ways to turn their 6 to 7 figure businesses into 8 or 9 figure revenue generators. 

Super Scale With Alvin’s 5Es

According to research, only 2 out of 5 businesses become profitable, while the remainder either break even or continue bleeding cash. The lack of funding remains one of the top killers of startups and SMEs, which tend to struggle with growth and stability in the later half of their lives.

Alvin Poh’s Super Scaling pedagogy condenses the secret of taking a business from 6 to 9 figures into 5 simple steps. Named the 5E Scale Engine, the Super Scaling pedagogy is composed of five principles: Evolve, Envision, Empower, Engage and Execute. 

The 5E Scale Engine helps founders and business leaders build operational systems that prevent and put out fires, create teams that can independently run day-to-day operations, construct an integrated brand vision that evolves as companies grow, reinvent engaging sales engines, and effectively execute business strategy. 

Instead of teaching founders and leaders to get-rich-quick, Alvin’s Super Scaling guidebook helps companies sustainably, patiently, and consistently scale. Profits are integral for a company’s survival, but value-creation and a customer-centric attitude is what keeps customers loyal, and capital flowing in in the long-term.

From Webinars, Mentorship, To A Published Guidebook

First starting as a series of popular webinars attended by over a thousand participants at the peak of the circuit breaker, Alvin now mentors a select group of founders and leaders in an exclusive program: the Super Scaling Tribe

Including profiles like Jasmine Kang of Skinlycious, Amanda Zhong of AOS Bath and Joanne Toh of The Hey Co, Alvin helps more than 15  of Singapore’s top executives grow their business by integrating the Super Scaling methodology into their on-the-ground operations. The subsequent publication of the Super Scaling book represents Alvin’s commitment to introduce his experience and lessons to an even larger audience remotely. 

Serving the next generation of founders and business leaders in Singapore, Alvin hopes to leave behind a legacy that can support aspiring entrepreneurs like himself by using his experience, knowledge and achievements for good.

Physical and digital copies of Super Scaling are now available in all major bookstores and the official Super Scaling website, at SuperScaling.com/book. 

Mapping Love by Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari

About the Book

Here I am, living my life looking at the rear-view mirror, driving to the end of the beginning of where I started.
My body still hurts.
It has been some time since Oorja Chaturvedi came home; but the wounds she suffered, at the hands of the very people who so aptly named her, cut deep. Her relationship with her father was barely strung together with a few words. But when her mother dies, the woman whose nagging love was both her comfort and her secret hiding place from the world, new grief melds with old bitterness.
Reeling from the loss, Oorja decides to come back to India, only to find her estranged father missing. Her search leads her to her grandfather, a man who had lived all his life among books and forest, withering away in his house. As she tries to grapple with her grief for a dying grandfather, she unexpectedly finds love and solace in the arms of a man who inherits her grandfather’s estate. But before she can decide what Anang and her own future together hold, Oorja must first untangle the secrets of their shared past.
A quiet gut-punch of a debut, acclaimed filmmaker Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari’s novel, Mapping Love is heartbreakingly brave and equally delicate. It is a story that digs its claws into you and doesn’t let go, long after you’ve finished it.

About the Author

ASHWINY IYER TIWARI is an artist, filmmaker and writer. A gold medallist in Commercial Arts from Sophia Polytechnic, Mumbai, she spent over a decade in the advertising world, telling stories for the biggest brands in India and Southeast Asia. She has won several advertising ‘craft’ awards across the world for her layered ideas and in-depth understanding of human psychology at the grassroot level. She directed the critically acclaimed, award-winning short film, ‘What’s for Breakfast?’, ‘Brothers’ and ‘Ghar ki Murgi’ (Taken for Granted).

Her first highly acclaimed Hindi feature film, ‘Nil Battey Sannata’ also known as, ‘The New Classmate’ helped her spread the message of ‘education for all’ and won Indian and International gender sensitivity awards. She remade it in Tamil as, ‘Amma Kanakku’ (Mother’s Calculation). Her next movie, ‘Bareilly Ki Barfi,’ a slice of life romantic comedy continued her passion for storytelling won many popular and critics’ awards. With her latest widely acclaimed movie, ‘Panga’, she started an important conversation on sports and motherhood. Making her own path with her simple yet mindful outlook towards life, she is a conscious knowledge researcher, traveller and seeker for life. This is her first book.


SONG OF DRAUPADI by Ira Mukhoty

About the Book

The Mahabharat is renowned for its great battles, heroic men, and gods walking the pathways of mortals. However, the beating heart of the epic is often forgotten—the stories of its women. Many of these exceptional women appear in Song of Draupadi—the indomitable Satyavati, the otherworldly Ganga, the indestructible Kunti, and the tenacious Gandhari—but the passionate and fiery Draupadi rises above them all to grip the imagination of the reader.

Born of a dangerous sacrifice, Draupadi and her brother Drishtadumna are called forth to avenge Drona’s insult to their father. While Drishtadumna is expected to kill Drona on the battlefield, Draupadi’s role is not set out, but she dreams of fire and blood. From beloved daughter and princess of Panchala to wife of the brave Pandavas and queen of Indraprastha, Draupadi finds herself exiled to the forest, humiliated and determined on vengeance. The novel is a symphony, in several keys, of her voice and those of the other women around her—arguing, pleading, reasoning, and often raised in righteous anger.

About the Author

Ira Mukhoty is the author of Akbar: The Great Mughal, Daughters of the Sun: Empresses, Queens and Begums of the Mughal Empire and Heroines: Powerful Indian Women in Myth and History. Living in one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, she developed an interest in the evolution of mythology and history, the erasure of women from these histories, and the continuing relevance this has on the status of women in India. She writes rigorously researched narrative histories that are accessible to the lay reader. She lives in Gurgaon with her husband and two daughters. Song of Draupadi is her first novel.


The People Tree by Beetashok Chatterjee

About the Book

Do you want to read stories that will take you to places all over this country and to faraway lands? Do you also want to read stories that will take you back in time—decades, even centuries? Then you must taste the fruit of The People Tree. Here are fourteen stories for you, a veritable potpourri of tales, each different from the other in style and substance. From the Khalistan insurgency in Punjab to a glimpse of the Mumbai underworld. From a doomed love affair in Hyderabad to a mature gay relationship. From a lifelong friendship formed in unusual circumstances to the pangs of a schoolboy crush to robbing an art museum there is something in this collection for everybody. And more. Love, loss, survival, lust, deception, greed Beetashok Chatterjee has covered them all. And more.

About the Author

Beetashok Chatterjee was a merchant ship’s captain by profession. He joined the Merchant Navy at a young age and loved it, retiring only after having completed more than 45 years at sea. He currently lives in New Delhi, India, with his memories and a wife, son and daughter. His hobbies include listening to Western music, reading fiction and watching cricket. He loves good Hollywood and Bollywood movies. And chilled beer. This is his second collection of stories. His first collection Driftwood—stories washed ashore gave him so much pleasure (and a little pain) creating it that he decided this was what he wanted to do for the rest of his life—write.


March Forth For Naught by S. Mubashir Noor

About Book

MARCH FORTH FOR NAUGHT pairs two stories exploring man’s search for redemption with a dash of black comedy and slapstick.
In Naya Chooran Or Bust, a young street urchin misnamed Kalia has a strange sense of destiny. To prove himself a man, he teams up with a kooky old codger to foil the mysterious foe threatening to rain missiles on his hometown. While Kalia is clueless to his ally’s true intentions, what the geezer doesn’t know will imprison him for eternity.
In How Do You Freaks Find Me, Holliday, a feisty crossing guard with a pushy alter-ego, approaches a famous seer to check his chances of winning the lottery. But the seer proves to be a mystical hobo who orders him on a perilous quest to collect the clues he needs to win Lady Luck’s favor. Holliday grudgingly agrees, but little does he know his hometown conceals characters straight out of a surreal nightmare.

About Author

S. Mubashir Noor is a Pakistani journalist and media professional with bylines in the local and international press; including the Huffington Post India, the New Straits Times, the Daily Times and South Asia magazine. He holds degrees in business and journalism; and certificates in filmmaking, audio engineering, and graphic design. When the sun goes beddy-bye, he spit-shines black comedies among other feebly gruesome pursuits.

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