November 29, 2023


Connecting Asian writers with global readers

New Releases- February 2023

10 min read

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

Why can’t Elephants be Red? by Vani Tripathi Tikoo.

About the Book

Akku is a lively, imaginative, and adventurous two-and-a-half-year-old little girl. Growing up partly in Gurgaon and mostly in Singapore, she is the darling of her big joint family consisting of her parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, as well as her caregiver and her friend.

From playing with her fishy friends and beloved puppy to discovering the wonders of swimming pools, sea beaches, food courts, and restaurants, every new experience fills Akku with joy and curious questions. Be it omelettes,  pakoras, or curd rice, she gobbles them all up. She loves to scribble and draw and mixes up colors to create new ones. Her imagination runs riot with elephants that are red, crabs that have moustaches, and unicorns that don’t have horns. Whether it’s an art class or a playdate with her friend, Akku has fun and learns new things about her world. But the biggest adventure of all awaits Akku—her first day at school.

About the Author

Vani Tripathi Tikoo is a versatile theatre, television, and film actor with extensive teaching experience at the Theatre in Education Company of the National School of Drama, New Delhi. She considers The Little Prince as the Bible for all adults who want to understand children. Keeping her work with children alive after having written plays that turned into performances and conducting theatre with kids for more than two decades, she has finally forayed into writing for children. This is her first book as an author. She considers children to be the gurus who save us from the perils of adulthood!

Ambapali by Tanushree Podder

About the Book

Ambapali is a name that has intrigued several generations of Indians. Even today, her name conjures up visions of dazzling glamour, daring romance, and sacrifice. Not every courtesan has gone down in the annals of history like Ambapali. She was beautiful, intelligent, talented, and, as the nagarvadhu janpad kalyani—the bride of the city— she went on to wield immense power among the nobles. Until she renounced all worldly pleasures to embrace Buddhism. This vivid narrative tells the story of a young woman forced to follow a path because of the machinations of powerful people. Ambapali was propelled on to the cultural centre stage in the Vajji republic against her wishes, betrayed in love, disappointed by friends, and yet, hers is the story of a strong woman determined to take control of her life. A remarkable, poignant novel about the dazzling glamour, daring romance, and sacrifice that marked Ambapali’s life.

About the Author

Born in New Delhi, Tanushree Podder worked in the corporate sector for eight long years before she quit the rat race to write. She is a well-known travel writer and novelist, and climate change and the environment are of special interest to her. She enjoys exploring various subjects, and this has led to her writing across genres, including historical, military, crime, and the paranormal. She wrote several non-fiction books before moving to fiction and has now published sixteen novels. Her books include Nur Jahan’s Daughter, Boots Belts Berets, On the Double, Escape from Harem, Solo in Singapore, A Closetful of Skeletons, Before You Breathe, No Margin for Error, The Teenage Diary of Rani Laxmibai, The Girls in Green, Spooky Stories and An Invitation to Die. Ambapali is her seventeenth novel. Her novel Decoding the Feronia Files is the first Indian cli-fi thriller. Three of her books, Boots Belts Berets, A Closetful of Skeletons, and The Girls in Green, are being adapted into web series. She lives in Pune.

Shut The Lights by Smita Bhattacharya

About the Book

On 24 March 2020, with merely a four-hour notice, the Indian government declared a three-week lockdown as a containment measure for COVID-19. In terms of scale and severity, this lockdown was unparalleled worldwide. However, unexpectedly, for a family of four, cooped up in a plush Mumbai apartment, it came as a blessing. On the face of it, Suvini, Mridul, Damien, and Tara belonged to an upper-middle-class family, with its typical privileges and pressures. But inwardly, each of them held a dark secret that threatened to derail their very existence. And the shutting down of everything had given them the unique opportunity to get away with it. Or not.

About the Author

Smita Bhattacharyawrites atmospheric, cosy, and psychological mystery fiction. Strong female protagonists and twisty whodunnits are her forte. Her psychological thriller novel—Dead to Them—was amongst the top Crime, Thriller & Mystery books of Amazon India in 2022. It has been optioned for a movie. She has also authored a popular amateur detective series—the Darya Nandkarni Misadventure Series. The first of the series—Kiss of Salt—is in talks to be optioned. She lives in Mumbai but has solo travelled to over 45 countries. Her stories are heavily inspired by her travels and by those she meets. She has worked in a vineyard, a newsroom, a school, a library, a bank, an advisory firm, and a technology start-up.

All Those Who Wander by Kiran Manral 

All Those Who Wander (English) Paperback – 15 January 2023
by Kiran Manral (Author)

About the Book

What if the past, present and future exist at once? What if you could rewrite your past? What if you could go back and change it around? What if you could protect the child you were from the trauma you know she will have to live through? What if you were living infinite versions of the same life simultaneously? This is the story of Ana, who is at a different age each time we meet her. But who is Ana—is she really who she says she is? A tangled tale of looped time and non-sequential lives, of guilt and repercussions, ‘All Those Who Wander’ turns the classic time-travel genre into a spine-tingling gorgeousness of who, what, when, where. Wouldn’t you take that one chance to heal your inner child?

About the Author

Kiran Manral has published multiple books across genres in fiction and nonfiction. She has been awarded the International Women’s Day Award 2018 by the Indian Council for UN Relations supported by the Ministry of Women and Child Welfare, Government of India, for excellence in the field of writing. She was listed as one of the Womennovator 1000 Women of Asia 2021. In 2022, she was named amongst the 75 Iconic Indian women in STEAM by Red Dot Foundation and Beyond Black, in collaboration with the Office of the Principal Scientific Advisor, Government of India, and British High Commission, New Delhi. She lives in Mumbai with her family and can be reached on Twitter @KiranManral.

Song of the Golden Sparrow: A Novel History of Free India by Nilanjan P. Choudhury

About the Book

Guilty of the crime of sleeping on the job, the lowly yaksha Prem Chandra Guha, is banished to India on a punishment posting. During his stay here, he must write a sufficiently riveting history of the land of his exile. Prem Chandra arrives in India on the first dawn of her independence and fate brings him to Netarhat, an obscure town near the forests of Chhota Nagpur. It is here that he meets Manhoos, an orphaned urchin who repairs motor vehicles for a living, and his friend Mary, a feisty tribal girl from the nearby Santhal village.

Assuming the shape of a common sparrow, Prem Chandra turns into an unobtrusive observer and follows the fortunes of Manhoos and Mary as they travel to Calcutta, and then to Rishikesh, Bangalore, Ahmedabad… As they plunge from one adventure to another, a series of figures play key roles in their lives: the Naxal leader Charu Majumdar; Satyajit Ray, in his crisp dhoti and clipped accent; the ever-giggling Maharishi Mahesh Yogi; the powerful business magnate, Ameer Premji; and even a mysterious man with a 56-inch chest.

On the broader canvas of India, other events are playing out. Indira Gandhi declares an Emergency; a new party, the Jana Sangh is formed; Siddhartha Shankar Ray cleanses West Bengal of Naxalism and Jyoti Basu brings in thirty years of Communism; somewhere, a dam is built, and hundreds of tribals are rendered homeless, elsewhere, a masjid falls, a deadly virus rises and the ground of India shakes beneath her feet…

Song of the Golden Sparrow is the story of Manhoos and Mary, and mirrored in their tumultuous lives, is the history of free India from 1947 to 2022.

About the Author

Nilanjan P. Choudhury’s most recent novel is Shillong Times, a coming-of-age story set against the insider-outsider conflict in Shillong in the 1980s. It has been widely recognized as an important new voice in the literature of the Northeast. His debut novel, a mythological thriller entitled Bali and the Ocean of Milk, was a best-seller. His subsequent writings include The Case of the Secretive Sister, a contemporary detective caper set in Bangalore, and The Square Root of a Sonnet, a pioneering play on the history and science of black holes, both of which received wide critical acclaim. Nilanjan grew up in Shillong and now lives in Bangalore with his family.

Tears of the Dragon: An Arjun Arora Mystery by Ankush Saikia

About the Book

Detective Arjun Arora feels his life is crumbling around him. His father has passed away, and he cannot forgive the corrupt police officer who sent Arjun into a coma a year back. And then, a young widow visits him and presses him to take on a new case: to investigate her husband’s mysterious death. Rohit Vats was a pharmaceutical company executive who had recently returned home to Delhi from a work trip to China. Soon after, he turned up in a seedy part of Kolkata—dead.

Was it a love affair gone wrong, geo-political intrigue, or corporate rivalry which led to Vats’ death? Arjun finds that Vats might have been looking into illegal wildlife trafficking and zoonotic diseases like SARS. Increasingly, it appears that the answer to the mystery might lie in China.

About the Author

Ankush Saikia was born in Tezpur, Assam in 1975 and grew up in Madison, Wisconsin; Assam; and Shillong, Meghalaya. He has worked in journalism and publishing in New Delhi, and is currently based in Shillong in North-East India. Saikia is the author of eight previous books including The Forest Beneath the MountainsThe Girl From Nongrim Hills, and the Detective Arjun Arora series. Tears of the Dragon is the fourth book in the Arjun Arora series. He was shortlisted for the Outlook/Picador-India non-fiction writing competition in 2005, and was one of the recipients of the Shanghai Writers’ Association’s 2018 fellowships. His articles and longform stories (mostly on North-East India) have appeared in FountainInk magazine,, The Indian Express, The Hindu, and Hindustan Times, among others.

Soumitra Chatterjee: His Life in Cinema and Beyond by Amitava Nag

About the Book

When Soumitra Chatterjee debuted in Satyajit Ray’s Apur Sansar in 1959—the final part of Ray’s Apu trilogy—a star was born in Bengali cinema. Soumitra soon transcended the boundaries of the Bengali film industry to become an internationally celebrated actor who was compared to the best in the business, from Max von Sydow to Marcello Mastroianni. Famously known as ‘Ray’s actor’, in a career spanning six decades, Soumitra worked with practically every Bengali director worth the name— Mrinal Sen, Tapan Sinha, Chidananda Dasgupta, Aparna Sen, Tarun Majumdar, Rituparno Ghosh, and Goutam Ghose, to name but a few.

Following Apur Sansar, Soumitra played the lead in another Ray film, Devi, in 1960. From then until the posthumously released Abhijan and Belashuru (2022), the more than 300 films in which he acted rank among the best in Bengali cinema, and won him a string of awards, including the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award (1995), the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (1999), the Padma Bhushan (2004), the Dadasaheb Phalke Award (2012) and the Legion d’Honour awarded by the French Government (2018). But it was not just on the silver screen that Soumitra shone. He was also an accomplished playwright and theatre actor, a poet, a painter, the literary editor of the magazine, Ekshan, and an elocutionist.

Soumitra Chatterjee: His Life in Cinema and Beyond, is the first comprehensive attempt to portray the life of the actor in all its facets. It traces Soumitra’s initial years of searching for identities to the final decades when he reached the pinnacle of his career as an actor and an artist. Written from the vantage point of someone who shared an exceptionally close relationship with the actor, film journalist Amitava Nag has drawn an intimate portrait of the star thespian and his art beyond acting, which will be essential reading for his legion of fans, and for all those interested in cinema.

About the Author

Amitava Nag is an independent film critic based in Kolkata, and editor of Silhouette Film Magazine. His most recent books on cinema are Ghunchu Kirtan, The Cinema of Tapan Sinha: An Introduction, Murmurs: Silent Steals with Soumitra Chatterjee, 16 Frames and Smriti Satta o Cinema. His earlier writings include the acclaimed books Satyajit Ray’s Heroes and Heroines and Beyond Apu: 20 Favourite Film Roles of Soumitra Chatterjee.

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