October 2, 2022

KITAAB

Connecting Asian writers with global readers

New Releases- August 2022

14 min read

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

The Greatest Enemy of Rain: Stories by Manu Bhattathiri

About the Book

The Greatest Enemy of Rain presents fourteen memorable short stories about the mundane and mysterious aspects of everyday life of the eccentric and oddball characters that occupy its pages. These unforgettable men and women grapple with questions of life and death, newfound freedoms, lifelong vendettas, love and longing, and memories of days gone by.

In ‘The Greatest Enemy of Rain’, Gopi recounts the ups and downs of his lifelong quest to outsmart a formidable enemy-the persistent Kerala rain. In the ancient India of ‘These New-Fangled Ways’, Mista decides to do what no one has done until then-cooking over fire-even as her parents swoon and faint in the background. In ‘Shabari and Anita’, a couple eschews the humdrum activity of daily life to pursue new trends in men’s fashion and beauty at their shiny new salon. ‘The Answer’ is a befitting response to the epic highs and lows of a supercomputer tasked with proving the existence of God. Written with Manu Bhattathiri’s characteristic wit and humour, The Greatest Enemy of Rain isa breezy exploration of the peculiarities of human nature.

About the Author

Manu Bhattathiri is a Keralite settled in Bengaluru. He has worked as an advertising copywriter, a journalist, and a college lecturer. At present he co-owns a small advertising agency. His first book, Savithri’s Special Room and Other Stories was widely praised and shortlisted for numerous awards. He is the author of two novels, The Town That Laughed and The Oracle of Karuthupuzha.


Mis(S)adventures of a Salesgirl by Aashisha Chakraborty

About the Book

An entertaining plot peppered with quirky characters.’ —Tanushree Podder, Author and travel writer

‘Aashisha takes readers on a delightful, hilarious and hard-hitting journey of a saleswoman who manages to make her voice heard amongst the sales pros in the corporate domain.’ —Harshali Singh, author, consumer court judge, academician and painter

Life is rosy at twenty-five, with love in the air and red-hot ambition flowing through the veins.

Or is it?

Ask twenty-five-year-old Enakshi Chatterji, who is uprooted from Delhi and sent to Chennai to work as an intern in the fiercely competitive and heavily male-dominated territory of sales with no place for a city-bred sophisticated girl. Add to that the fact that she doesn’t speak a word of Tamil, and you get a heady cocktail of events that promises to take you on a rollercoaster ride.

When a twenty-five-year-old family secret comes back to haunt her, she starts on a course of selfdestruction with a weekend getaway with her stalker, a movie date with her boss and a quest to uncover an old family secret. Will Enakshi be able to battle all the sexual advances, language barriers, male chauvinism, hygiene complications and the scorching Chennai sun, and emerge victorious? Will she finally unearth the truth about her mother?

Find out in this thrilling, fast-paced and tumultuous journey how Enakshi learns the hard truths about relationships, life and work while trying to prove herself.

About the Author

An ardent lover of Rumi, Radiohead, Rand and Rome, Aashisha Chakraborty hails from a world of marshmallow moons, candy clouds and lemony lakes.

Aashisha was chosen as one of the 75 pan-India authors under 30 for the PM-YUVA scheme for her historical fiction work with National Book Trust, India. She was the winner of the Times of India Write India Season 2 for Shobhaa De and among the top six for both Manu Joseph and Twinkle Khanna. She has written for various Readomania anthologies and ebooks by Women’s Web and InsideIIM. Her articles have appeared in The Hindu, and she has a Star Wars fan fiction column on SilverLeaf Poetry. A winner of Kaafiya (the Delhi Poetry Festival), she showcases her short stories on Readomania Premium. An MBA from the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, New Delhi, and a computer engineer from Jamia Millia Islamia, she reads and travels compulsively, and blogs on her online diary of sorts—The Mind Bin.


When I Met the Mama Bear: A Forest Guard’s Story by Prerna Singh Bindra (Author), Maya Ramaswamy (Illustrator)

About the Book

It’s a tough call for Priya and her fellow forest guards, Ahmedji, Bhim and Anil. They were trained not to interfere in the lives of the wild animals. But how can they just stand by and do nothing?

As they think of a plan that will work, Priya, a mother herself, thinks of her own little ‘cub’, her daughter Astha, who lives far away in the town with her grandmother. Priya is a single mother who lives in a lonely outpost in the forest so she can earn a living. Perhaps the Mama Bear too was ‘out at work’, foraging for food, when her cubs got into trouble.

Based on a real incident, this moving, dramatic story illuminates the hidden life of forest guards, the courageous and unsung women and men who work tirelessly to protect India’s forests and its wildlife.

When I Met the Mama Bear is also a powerful story of mothers—both human and animal—and their struggle to balance work with bringing up their young.

About the Author

Prerna Singh Bindra lives in a city, but she is usually found wandering in forests, where she may get to meet tigers, elephants, bears and other animals. Prerna is a writer, a keen student of nature who wants to save all wild animals and the wilderness they live in. She has played a role in protecting pristine forests, lobbies governments for wildlife-friendly policy and is a strong voice for endangered wildlife.


Surfing the Cryptocurrency Wave: Decoding the Next generation of Money by Shubhasish Das 

About the Book

When you can use your wallet to watch a film or buy a pair of slippers, why choose a book on cryptocurrency? 

Pay close attention to the banknotes in your pocket, the credit and debit cards, or the shiny coin that falls out of your pocket. All these are forms of ‘money. ′ 

But what makes ‘money’ valuable? How did it become the monopoly of a few institutions? How do cryptocurrencies fit into this grand scheme? 

While the tsunami of cryptocurrency has taken the world by storm, only a tiny percentage is surfing its wave and reaping the benefits. 

This book is for everyone, whether you are a consumer, investor, producer, seller or anywhere in between. Riding the cryptocurrency wave may not be a choice anymore!

About the Author

Shubhasish Das is a finance professional and blockchain expert. He has over a decade of experience in the financial sector with different companies, including IBM, Philips, Maersk, Petrofac and Cargill. Shubhasish is also an EdTech innovator and created educational apps for the benefit of commerce students. His book ‘Think like an accountant’ is an Amazon India bestseller. Academically, Shubhasish is a Cost and Management Accountant from ICAI, an affiliate member of CIPFA, a Certified Blockchain Expert and a Certified Bitcoin professional. He is also a guest speaker at world digital week and a member of European Digital Experts Association.


India after 1947: Recollections and Reflections: Reflections & Recollections by Rajmohan Gandhi 

About the Book

Seventy-five years after Independence, India faces stark questions. Some of the most pressing ones relate to jobs and the cost of living. But questions about the state of our democracy are equally critical, if not more so. When India won independence and prepared to become the world’s largest democracy, the people, through their leaders and elected representatives, looked to create a nation built on the ideals of equality, liberty, and fraternity. That this seemed a successful exercise—in a densely populated country with high levels of illiteracy and poverty, a bewildering variety of religions, castes, and languages, and a history of internal conflict—surprised many and gave hope to many more. However, over the years, these ideals have repeatedly come under attack. In the book, the author reflects on key issues that India will need to deal with. He asks if India’s future will be dictated by the resentful victimhood that seems to grip the champions of Hindu nationalism in a country where Hindus dominate the economy, the polity, the media, the culture, and everything else.

Or will calm, thoughtful, self-critical yet confident young Indians—Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi, and others—prevail and continue to build a country that treats everyone as equal? He addresses debates about the idea, image, and personality of Ram throughout India’s life and history; analyses the fallout of Partition and the concept of Akhand Bharat; and delves into what Mahatma Gandhi stood for and against—all of them issues that are contested in today’s India. In addition to these reflections, the author looks back at the history of the nation from 1947 onwards and examines what we, the people of India, should do to remain a viable and vibrant democracy that ensures that none of its citizens are left behind or feel oppressed, unwelcome, or unsafe. A timely study of the state of the nation from one of our foremost thinkers, India After 1947 is an essential read that reminds us of who we are as a nation and what we should aim to be.

About the Author

Rajmohan Gandhi’s last two books are Modern South India: A History from the 17th Century to Our Times and Why Gandhi Still Matters: An Appraisal of the Mahatma’s Legacy. He has taught political science and history at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and also at the Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar, IIT-Bombay, and Michigan State University.


Mentormorphosis: Stories for Mentoring the Leader in You by Akash Khurana

About the Book

Most people struggle at the very outset. How do you find an excellent mentor and how do you get that person to mentor you? Frankly, it really is about serendipity. In my case, they just happened. That they were among the best around, was a bonus. The thing is to keep your antennae alert, and if it is meant to be, you will find the right one. Else, there’s no other choice but to keep searching. As the Buddha said, ‘When the student is ready, the teacher appears.’

How often do we recall the major achievements in our lives and celebrate them? Do we spend enough time remembering the significant people and incidents that influenced our lives? Do we look back and cherish the contribution of our mentors?

In Mentormorphosis, Akash Khurana chronicles how his mentors shaped the early years of his life, and with that as reference, he generates a model of various mentoring stages and mentor types that may be applicable to everyone’s life. Readers are then guided to revisit their own mentoring history and recall certain learnings that could enrich their perspective on their journey into the future. By sharing experiences through a memoir, the author replicates the tradition of storytelling where emotionally compelling tales are handed down over generations. Based on his own experiences in management, academics, media and the performing arts, Khurana believes that developing a passion to be creative unleashes the leader in you and is an eminent stairway to excellence.

About the Author

Akash Khurana is a compulsive and consummate multitasker, who has segued between theatre, film, television, academia and corporate life for over four decades. An engineer with an MBA, M.Phil. and Ph.D., he has taught at several business schools and his corporate roles include marketing executive, HR advisor, chief creative officer and CEO.

He has written over 20 screenplays, including Baazigar, for which he received the Filmfare Award. He has acted in nearly 60 films and has won the Nandi Award of Andhra Pradesh for playing the lead in the Telugu film Dr. Ambedkar. The River of Love, a feature film directed by him, has garnered a host of international awards. In theatre, he has been a core member of some of India’s foremost theatre companies. His production of Vijay Tendulkar’s A Friend’s Story was performed at the Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London.


The Education of Yuri by Jerry Pinto

About the Book

‘We are born alone and we die alone. In between, we reach out to other people.’

At fifteen, Yuri Fonseca of down-market Mahim—sometimes awkward, sometimes lonely—gets lucky. He finds a friend, Muzammil Merchant of upmarket Pedder Road. Then he loses him, and almost finds him again. In between, he learns something about jealousy, shame, desire and guilt. He stumbles into his first sexual encounter, and he thinks he has fallen in love. He understands how one can hurt and be hurt, and how one can give and find unexplained happiness. He struggles to write poetry, worries if he will ever get and hold a job, and flirts briefly with Naxalism.

Over five years in the strange crucible of Elphinstone College in 1980s’ Bombay—the vast and throbbing city that both claims and disowns him—Yuri tries to make sense of himself. And we are drawn, effortlessly and completely, into the spell of his story.

The Education of Yuri proves yet again that few authors anywhere write with greater warmth, wit and compassion about human emotions and relationships than Jerry Pinto. This glorious novel is among the best ever written on urban adolescence in India.

About the Author

Jerry Pinto is a writer and poet based in Mumbai. His books include the novels Em and the Big Hoom (winner of the Hindu Prize and the Crossword Book Award) and Murder in Mahim (winner of the Valley of Words Award and shortlisted for the Crossword Award); the non-fiction book Helen: The Life and Times of an H-Bomb (winner of the National Award for the Best Book on Cinema); and two books of poetry, I Want a Poem and Other Poems and Asylum.

An acclaimed translator, Jerry has also published landmark translations from Marathi and Hindi. His books for children include A Bear for Felicia; When Crows Are White and Tickle Me, Don’t Tickle Me; and his edited volumes include A Book of Light: When a Loved One Has a Different Mind and Bombay, Meri Jaan: Writings on Mumbai (with Naresh Fernandes). In 2016, Jerry Pinto received the Windham-Campbell Prize and the Sahitya Akademi Award.


 In Free Fall: My Experiments with Living by Mallika Sarabhai

About the Book

A celebrated dancer, actor and public intellectual writes a memorable account – by turns inspiring, hilarious and provocative – about how she stumbled her way to health, fitness and sanity.

What does it take to survive on an orange and a glass of Complan for each meal? Dance the Flamenco till midnight the day your baby is due? Not to come undone in the face of personal loss. Or try multiple treatments from faith healing to mantras to cure a tumour that turns out not to be a tumour?

It takes someone as feisty and fearless as Mallika Sarabhai to do all this and more. In this frank portrayal of her extraordinary life, Mallika doesn’t hold back in talking about her ‘thirty-year obsession with being thin’; her addictions like smoking and how she ‘hypnotised’ her way out of it; her fascination with alternate therapies like Pranik healing, Ayurveda and colour therapy, and the beauty treatments she uses for ‘future-proofing’ her body so that she can continue to dance and perform for years to come.

She speaks with equal candour about her battles with grief and depression– when she lost her beloved father, the space scientist Vikram Sarabhai, in 1971; a painful break-up with a man she loved; and her ups and downs with her children, due, in part, to her own relationships. The loss of her mother, dancer Mrinalini Sarabhai, in 2016, left her bereft; yoga, dance, transcendental meditation and NVC – Non-violent Communication – were some of the ways that she coped.

Laced with humour and an earthy wisdom, In Free Fall is all about coming to terms with yourself and your body and find the lifestyle that works for you. And how to make mistakes, pick yourself up and carry on. Never preachy, this ‘self-help’ memoir delivers an immensely useful message for anyone who wants good health – and happiness.

About the Author

Mallika Sarabhai is a dancer, actor and activist. As one of India’s leading choreographers and dancers, she has been co-director of the Darpana Academy for Performing Arts for nearly forty years. She is also a columnist and co-founder of Mapin Publishing.

She first came to international notice as an actress when she played the role of Draupadi in Peter Brook’s The Mahabharata for five years, first in French and then English, performing in France, Germany and the United States, amongst other countries. Prior to this, she had made a name for herself in the Gujarati and Hindi film industries but was soon recognized as an exceptional dancer in the classical forms of Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi.

An activist for education, human rights and women’s empowerment, she has created numerous stage, TV and online productions which have raised awareness, highlighted crucial issues and advocated change, developing her own contemporary dance vocabulary to create short and full-length works that have been presented throughout India and in over fifty countries of the world.


After the War: The Last Books of the Mahabharata, translated by Wendy Doniger

About the Book

Composed sometime between 300 BCE and 300 CE, the Mahabharata’s 75,000 verses narrate the legendary battle between two branches of the Kuru clan of North India, the Pandavas and the Kauravas, and its aftermath. Storytellers in all of South Asia and far beyond have entertained and instructed through this greatest of epics for generations past. But, as the translator says in her introduction, they have generally ‘underra the high emotion, mythological inventiveness, metaphysical complexities, and conflicted characters that animate the last books [which]…tell a unified and self-bounded story of their own’.

In Book Fifteen (Ashramavasika, Living in the Hermitage) a wildfire consumes Kunti, King Yudhishthira’s mother, and Dhritarashtra and Gandhari, the parents of the Kauravas, living out their final days in the forest. But did they die a meaningless death? Fate catches up with all, even gods, in Book Sixteen (Mausala, The Battle of the Clubs), when Lord Krishna embraces death and his Yadava clan is annihilated in a drunken brawl and an attack by bandits, in fulfilment of Gandhari’s curse. It is time for the Pandavas to ascend to heaven, in Books Seventeen (Mahaprasthanika, The Great Departure) and Eighteen (Svargarohana, Climbing to Heaven), but not before Yudhishthira is tested by a dog, to ascertain his steadfastness in the moral law.

Bringing to bear her many years of study of the Mahabharata, Wendy Doniger renders the complex narrative in exceedingly lucid prose. The absorbing story and her masterful translation will appeal to the general reader and the scholar alike.

About the Author

Wendy Doniger is the author of several acclaimed and bestselling works, among them, The Hindus: An Alternative History; Hindu Myths; The Ring of Truth; Dreams, Illusion and Other Realities; Women, Androgynes and Other Mythical Beasts; Winged Stallions and Wicked Mares; and translations of the Rig Veda and the Kamasutra. She is Mircea Eliade Distinguished Service Professor Emerita of the History of Religions at the University of Chicago and has also taught at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, and the University of California, Berkeley.


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

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