May 28, 2022

KITAAB

Connecting Asian writers with global readers

New Releases – January 2022

14 min read

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

Bangladesh War: Report from Ground Zero by Manash Ghosh

About the Book

The Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971, also known as the Muktijudhdho, was a result of the total alienation of the Bengalis of East Pakistan from the non-Bengalis of the West, setting off a violent political upheaval in the eastern unit of the country, ultimately leading to the formation of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh.

This riveting first-hand account of the Liberation War has been written by a former journalist of The Statesman. In fact, the author, then a mere cub reporter, had predicted the coming of the war as early as in January 1971 by writing an article in the Sunday Statesman titled ‘When Brother meets Brother’. When the conflict started, he was one of the very few Indian journalists who covered the epochal event from the very beginning until the final surrender by the Pakistan military in Khulna on 17 December.

The highlight of this book is how Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, impelled by the ruling military junta’s highly exploitative and discriminatory policies pursued towards the Bengali population, evolved the Bengali mindset for waging a Muktijudhdho for their independence with Indian help. Having gone deep inside East Pakistan to cover the liberation war and being on good terms with sector commanders of the Mukti Bahini and senior Awami League leaders, the author provides many hitherto unknown facts which add a different dimension to this book.

About the Author

Manash Ghosh graduated from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi and joined The Statesman in 1966 as a trainee journalist. His big break came in 1971 when the Bangladesh Liberation War started. He covered it from various battlefields as an embedded journalist at considerable risk to his life. When Bangladesh won the war and became independent, he was posted in Dacca as the paper’s bureau head for three years. He has served in various positions including as chief of Calcutta news bureau and as resident editor of the Delhi edition. In 2004 he was made the founding editor of Dainik Statesman, a Bengali language daily newspaper run by The Statesman group, which he helmed for 11 years.


A Witch Like You by Shruti Sareen

About the Book


The title ‘A Witch Like You’ appeared to me in a dream at 3 am. This is also a phrase in the last of the ‘Dream’ series poems in this book. The title means to be bewitched by someone, whether good or bad, right, or wrong, to be entranced, intoxicated, by a woman. A mixture of intense love and intense pain led to this ambiguous word “witch”, which has both positive and negative connotations. The political poems in this collection too are also decidedly wicked, and yes, all the influence of the wicked, witchy woman. The poems in this collection are arranged in the form of a story- from childhood to adolescence to falling in love, to intense loss and deep depression, and finally, through acceptance, to some sort of release.

About the Author

Shruti Sareen, born and brought up in Varanasi, studied at Rajghat Besant School, KFI. Graduating in English from Indraprastha College for Women, University of Delhi, she later earned a Ph.D. from the same university., titled “Indian Feminisms in the 21st Century: Women’s Poetry in English” which is now forthcoming from Routledge (UK) as two monographs in 2022. She has had over a hundred poems and a handful of short stories published in journals and anthologies. She is currently seeking publishers for her novel, The Yellow Wall, and is currently working around a hybrid manuscript around lives of queer artists, on themes of queerness and mental health. Her debut poetry Collection, A Witch Like You, was published by Girls on Key Poetry (Australia) in April 2021. She was an invited poet at global poetry festival, hosted by Russia, Poeisia-21.  Having earlier taught in Dyal Singh College, University of Delhi, she currently teaches at Jamia Millia Islamia, another university in New Delhi.  Found on FB and IG as Shruti Krishna Sareen or as shrutanne, she blogs at www.shrutanne-heartstrings.blogspot.com and may be reached at shrutanne.ipcollege@gmail.com.


The Reluctant Mother: A Story No One Wants To Tell by Zehra Naqvi

About the Book

The Reluctant Mother is a book of rage.
Rage at being alone in your pain, having your conflict belittled, and your struggles trivialised. It is the story of a young woman who seeks to find herself in a world that constantly tries to define her and who she should be. It is the memoir of an anti-mother. A woman who doesn’t fall in love with her baby at first sight but discovers love along the way.
This book is for anyone who feels overwhelmed by the idea of ‘ideal’ motherhood. Be it a woman or a man, one way of confronting trauma is to know that you are not alone in it. To know that someone shares your story and understands your emotions and guilt that accompanies feeling anything other than ‘perfectly blissful’ about motherhood.
It is at once heartbreaking and poignant as it is hopeful and comforting. It is the story of one woman and yet the life of many. It reveals how tradition and modernity, faith and reason, pleasure and pain are all so intimately interwoven for women that their true sense of self is inevitably one of the contradictions.
The book’s biggest strength lies in its rawness and honesty. Nothing but the truth stands here.

About the Author

Zehra Naqvi is a hands-on mother and a journalist who has spent a decade writing on literature, gender, and socio-political issues. She has written for various national and international publications such as the Indian Express, Reader’s Digest, The Hindu, Financial Chronicle, The Quint, Child magazine, and Women’s Web. Zehra is a quadruple gold medallist in journalism from Aligarh Muslim University. This is her first book.


‘Rather Say “Argh” Than Express’ by Jahnvi Duggal

About the Book

The outcome of this cognition represents a man, trying to convince himself of happiness through his choices and decisions. In a state of conformity- to be conventional and certain rather than experimental and uncertain, he meets a young boy who is everything he failed to choose. The book’s narrative alternates between the two characters. The boy satisfies the man by presenting outcomes that include passion, creation and is the man’s pass to enter a world of innocence and dreams.
‘Ivhnaj’ is an attempt of undoing the identity, name and being of the author by simply naming herself backwards in hope to represent the ways in which she found herself to be the opposite of who she once was.

About the Author

Janhvi hopes to repay the debt of all the books she has read with her writing as long as she doesn’t want to fail at trying. ‘Rather Say “Argh” Than Express’ is her first try. Janhvi has had an experimental and diverse background in Art. She was ranked 56 (AIR) for Creative Writing ECA category in DU 2018 (alongside rank 14 in Theatre). She has been awarded Principal’s Gold Medal for the Best Artist in 2018. She writes on Gender and Mental Health by making psychological information accessible through her academic experience in Psychology. Apart from her publishings Magazines, She actively uses #Janhvitmeinjaari for Mental Health outputs and @Kitaabiwi for book and genre reviews on Instagram.


A Book of New Beginnings: Some Words for Living, edited with an introduction by Jerry Pinto

About the Book

Each ending is a beginning? And if this is true, then this is where we get another chance. We can be kinder to each other. We can be kinder to the Earth. We can do something about our faults and fears…’

Beginnings are all around us, although they are often disguised. The turning of the soil, the blossoming of the buds, a new friendship, a new day with an old familiar—these are all signs that life carries on, and that it may be good despite setbacks. In a world changed and darkened by the pandemic, A Book of New Beginnings reminds us of this eternal truth. This shining anthology is a treasure of meditations, consolations and inspirations from a range of voices through history: Rabi’ah, Rumi, Tukaram, Emily Dickinson, Tagore, Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Muktabai, Martin Luther King, the Dalai Lama, Alice Munro, Shailendra and unsung, everyday people with an extraordinary gift for hope, compassion, courage and perseverance.

Edited and introduced by one of India’s finest and most admired writers, and beautifully designed and produced, this is a timeless book to possess and to gift.

About the Author

Jerry Pinto is a writer of prose, poetry, and children’s fiction in English and also a journalist. He hails from Mumbai, India. Some of Pinto’s noted titles include Helen: The Life And Times Of An H-Bomb, Surviving Women and Asylum And Other Poems. Basically of Goan origin, Pinto grew up in Mahim, Mumbai, and received his Liberal Arts degree from the Elphinstone College and a Law degree from the Government Law College in Mumbai.

Naresh Fernandes is also a journalist from Mumbai. He is an editor of Scroll.in, a digital daily and a consulting editor at National Geographic Traveler India. Fernandes has authored City Adrift: A Short Biography Of Bombay and Bombay Then And Mumbai Now. The author has worked with the print media publications including The Times of India, The Wall Street Journal in New York and The Associated Press in Mumbai.


Sweet Nothings: The Love Poems of Amaru, translated from the Sanskrit by Lee Siegel

About the Book

Lee Siegel’s English translation of the Amarushataka, an aristocratic collection of eighth-century amorous Sanskrit poems, is at once playful and erudite, amusing and poignant, carnal and sublime. The stanzas are little scenes from a panoramic comedy of erotic love.
The characters: Innocent girls and passionate ladies; devoted husbands and faithless rogues; female confidantes who help, console, or betray their friends. The plot: First love, sexual union, separation (because of parents, friends, or the woman’s jealous anger because the man has another mistress, or perhaps he must go on a journey), reunion, re-separation, re-reunion. The theme is the delight of the game, the deliciousness of courtship, and the sweetness of sex.

About the Author

Lee Siegel, Emeritus Professor of Indian Religions at the University of Hawai’i, has published four non-fiction books, eight novels, and a translation of Sanskrit love poetry. He studied comparative literature at the University of California, Berkeley, fine arts at Columbia University, and he received a doctorate from Oxford University for his work on Sanskrit religious and erotic texts. Siegel’s writing has earned him a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, two Writing Residency awards at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Study Center, a visiting Fellowship at All Souls College, Oxford University, and the Elliot Cades Award for Literature. He lives in Waimanalo, Hawai’i.


The Tombstone in My Garden: Stories from Nagaland by Temsula Ao

About the Book

In this collection of five spare and poignant stories from Nagaland, Temsula Ao holds up a mirror to the lives of everyday people beyond the headlines.
.A ‘Bihari’ coolie at the Dimapur railway station has been hiding a dark secret about his adopted son; a grave threat to both their lives. As her grandson is exiled from the village, a grandmother finally breaks the silence over her mutilated funeral supeti. A rare lily refuses to bloom year after year because she was moved from her usual position in the flowerbed into an ornate pot. Big Father, a uniquely misshapen grandfather tree, becomes the guardian and protector of an entire village. The matriarch Lily Anne, subjected to racial slurs by her own mother on account of her mixed parentage, resumes her position on the ancient reclining chair in her verandah to stare at the eyesore in her overgrown garden. The Tombstone in My Garden – with its pared-down prose and gripping, original stories – reflects Padma Shri award-winner Temsula Ao’s deep understanding not just of the human condition, but that of all life.

About the Author

Temsula Ao is an Indian poet, short story writer, and ethnographer who writes in English. She is one of Nagaland’s most eminent contemporary folklorists, academics and poets, and one of the finest authors of the country. She was awarded the Padma Shri in 2007 and the Nagaland Governor’s Award for Distinction in Literature in 2009. For her collection of short stories Laburnum for My Head, Temsula Ao received the Sahitya Akademi Award in 2013. She was also the recipient of the Kusumagraj National Literature Award (for Poetry) in 2015. Temsula Ao retired as Professor of English from the North Eastern Hills University which she had first joined in 1975. Her works have been translated into German, French, Assamese, Bengali, Kannada and Hindi.


The Talking Kitchen by by INTACH (Author), Kavita Singh Kale (Illustrator)

About the Book

During the pandemic lockdown in India, ten children uncover a big secret. their talking kitchens! And the utensils seem to have a lot to say. These lucky ten children discover recipes, family stories, and even rediscover some old and forgotten utensils!

About the Author

INTACH is a nationwide, non-profit membership organization to protect and conserve India’s vast natural and cultural heritage. It is today the largest organization in the country dedicated to conservation. Heritage Education and Communication Service (HECS) of INTACH spreads awareness about India’s natural, built, cultural, and living heritage. HECS promotes a love for heritage amongst children. It runs a network of heritage clubs. Each heritage club works on promoting the local culture and appreciating the rich diversity of India’s heritage. For further details, log on to www. intach.org, http://www.youngintach.org


Children of the Land by Mandira Shah

About the Book

Fifteen-year-old April lives in Imphal valley and has grown up learning to save herself from tear-gas shells and hearing stories about children disappearing. But when her best friend Henthoiba goes missing, she is determined to find him. April finds an unlikely ally in Shalini Gupta, her new schoolmate and the daughter of an army man recently posted in Imphal. With no real leads except for a bag with some of Henthoiba’s belongings and sharp deduction and combat skills, the two set out to find him.

As they get sucked into the investigation, they stumble upon a dangerous, unknown world—where children disappear and are trafficked and trained to be soldiers. A world where drugs, arms, and gold are peddled across borders. Was Henthoiba abducted because he knew too much about this world? What awaits Shalini and April at the floating island on Loktak Lake where Henthoiba was last seen? Unflinching, tender, and action-packed, Children of the Hidden Land is a story about two girls who overcome their prejudices to question their existing ideas about nation, friendship, and ambition. Above all, it is a story of hope and courage.

About the Author

Mandira Shah is a part-time writer, who spends most of her time in the world of IT, engineering automation solutions using data science. She unwinds by dancing, writing, and daydreaming. She lives in Bangalore with her eight-year-old daughter trying to hide while her daughter asks weird questions and drops truth bombs all around. She and her husband are founders of Paradox of Fiction, a creative production house for short films.


Mumblings & Musings by Anirban Bhattacharyya

About the Book

This collection of 44 modern poems is written both in blank verse and in rhyme. They are very visceral, relatable, and thought-provoking.

The poems revolve around everyday life and people. The themes range from the fleeting nature of life, love, death, bigotry, faith, insanity, fate, Calcutta, Mumbai, and more.

Stunning images clicked by photographer Ashish Bakshi and the author accompany each poem; which takes in the still life, candid moments, vistas, and unique perspectives to add another dimension to the poems.

About the Author

Anirban Bhattacharyya is the author of the bestselling true-crime book ‘The Deadly Dozen: India’s Most Notorious Serial Killers.’ He is the co-creator, producer & writer of Savdhaan India. He is the producer of Crime Patrol & Fear Files.

In his corporate career he has been the Head of Content for Channel [v] and The Walt Disney Company (India) Ltd. He has produced for leading channels like Star Plus, Sony, Zee, MTV, Star Bharat, LifeOK, DD, and SAB TV.

He is a standup comedian and an actor – having appeared in movies like Sui Dhaaga and Mission Mangal.

Anirban studied in Dr. Graham’s Homes, Kalimpong. He did his Bachelors in English Literature from St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata. He followed this with a Master’s degree in Mass Communication from MCRC, Jamia.


Kings, Saviours & Scoundrels-Timeless Tales from Katha Sarita Sagara by Anupama Jain

About the Book

Eternal Tales of India, Retold for the world. What if you could relive some glorious moments of our illustrious past? Meet the valiant warriors with great kindness and the courageous souls who thought out of the box. Know the origins of Vikram and Vetal. Salute the stellar women who took charge of their lives and the brave kings who trod on the righteous path. Laugh with some quirky villagers who are full of beans. Savour the heart-tugging friendships between the unlikely souls or the intrepidity of the creatures that won’t give up despite everything. Perceive the villainous deceit by the trusted. Rooted in the traditional storytelling of Indian legends, mythical beings, and their splendid adventures, Kings, Saviours, and Scoundrels is a melting pot of entertaining kathas, selected from one of India’s oldest classics, Somadeva’s Katha Sarita Sagara.

About the Author

Anupama Jain is the author of When Padma Bani Paula, listed as ‘One of the 5 best books of 2018—Fiction’, by readwriteinspire.com, and Masala Mix: Potpourri of Shorts, a vibrant short story collection on myriad manifestations of love. She is a co-author of 10 anthologies across genres, one of which is a LIMCA record holder as India’s first Composite Novel. Anupama has won multiple awards for her writing be it ‘The Orange Flower Awards’ for humour, or Momspresso awards for fiction, and parental blogging. She was listed as one of the 10 Indian women bloggers, a feminist must follow, by Women’s Web. She blogs at akkaacerbic.wordpress.com (listed in the Best Indian Blogs Directory 2018, under Topical Matters and Current Affairs). Anupama writes an award-winning satirical series at readomania.com, ‘AJ Wants to Know’, taking on the quirky world around with its vagaries. Anupama is the Founder & Admin of ‘SeniorSchoolMoms’, which won the Orange Flower Award 2021, for Best Facebook Groups. She is also the Head (Content & Collaborations) at Incredible Women of India.


If you are interested in reviewing any of these titles, please write to us at editor@kitaabinternational.com.

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