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New Release: The Three with a Thousand Apples by Sanchit Gupta

Book Cover_The Tree with a Thousand ApplesInspired by true events, this riveting narrative traces the lives of Safeena Malik, Deewan Bhat, and Bilal Ahanagar, three childhood friends who grow up in an atmosphere of peace and amity in Srinagar, Kashmir, until the night of 20 January 1990 changes it all.

While Deewan is forced to flee from his home, Safeena’s mother becomes ‘collateral damage’ and Bilal has to embrace a wretched life of poverty and fear. The place they called paradise becomes a battleground and their friendship struggles when fate forces them to choose sides against their will.

Twenty years later destiny brings them to a crossroads again, when they no longer know what is right and what is wrong. While both compassion and injustice have the power to transform lives, will the three friends now choose to become sinful criminals or pacifist saints?

The Tree with a Thousand Apples  (Niyogi Books) is a universal story of cultures, belongingness, revenge and atonement. The stylised layered format, fast-paced narration and suspenseful storytelling makes for a powerful, gripping read.

About the Author 

Born and brought up in the hills of Himachal Pradesh, Sanchit Gupta began his career as a part-time copywriter with an advertising agency in Mumbai. He went on to co-found his own theatre group, worked as a freelance film screenwriter and as executive producer–fiction for a leading television network. His short stories have been published in several esteemed publications and literary journals, and have won acclaim in leading literary festivals and online forums. Some of them being- Tata LitLive My Story Contest, Muse India, Contemporary Literary Review India, Indian Ruminations, Qpeka and the Orange Flame Literary Review.

As a screenwriter, his script Kahwa (based on the book The Tree with a Thousand Apples) has been long-listed at Sundance International Screenwriters’ Lab- 2017. Another of his film scripts (fiction) has been long-listed at Mumbai Mantra Cinerise screenwriters’ lab- 2016. He is the co-writer of Emraan Hashmi’s first home production Captain Nawab and Rajkumar Rao- Shruti Hassan starrer Behen Hogi Teri, that shall release in May 2017.

Apart from being a writer, he is a brand management professional with a wide range of brand building and communication development experience across FMCG, automobile and media industries. His works explore his fascination for global cultures, societal structures, vagaries of the world and the human mind.

The Tree with a Thousand Apples is his debut novel. More can be found about the author and his works at www.sanchitgupta.in


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New Release: Temporary People by Deepak Unnikrishnan

temporary peopleIn the United Arab Emirates, foreign nationals constitute over 80 percent of the population. Brought in to construct and  serve the towering monuments to wealth that punctuate the skylines of Abu Dhabi and Dubai, this labor force is not given the  option of citizenship. Some ride their luck to good fortune. Others suffer different fates. Until now, the humanitarian crisis of the so- called “guest workers” of the Gulf  has  barely been addressed in fiction. With his stunning, mind-altering  debut novel Temporary People, published by Simon & Schuster India, Deepak Unnikrishnan delves into their histories, myths, struggles, and triumphs.

Combining the linguistic invention of Salman Rushdie and  the satirical vision of George Saunders, Unnikrishnan presents twenty-eight linked stories that careen from construction workers who shapeshift into luggage and escape a labor camp, to a woman who stitches back together the bodies of those who’ve fallen from buildings in progress, to a man who grows ideal workers designed to live twelve years and then perish—until they don’t, and found a rebel community in the desert. With this polyphony of voices, Unnikrishnan maps a new, unruly  global English and gives personhood back to the anonymous workers of the Gulf.

About the Author:

deepakDeepak Unnikrishnan is a writer from Abu Dhabi and a resident of the States, who has lived in Teaneck, New Jersey, Brooklyn, New York and Chicago, Illinois. He has studied and taught at the Art Institute of Chicago and presently teaches at New York University Abu Dhabi.

Temporary People, his first book, was the inaugural winner of the Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing.

 


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New Release: The House That Spoke by Zuni Chopra

house-that-spokePenguin announce the release of The House That Spoke by Zuni Chopra. The novel, set in the controversial terrain of Kashmir, beautifully blends magical and historical elements. The book will be released all across India in February 2017.

Fourteen-year-old Zoon Razdan has always known that there is something extraordinary about her house, which is as inextricably a part of her life as what’s left of her torn, frayed family. Now just before her fifteenth birthday, she find that she has inherited not just her beloved house’s grim secrets but also a battle with an ancient, deadly force of darkness.

Lush and evocative, The House That Spoke is a kaleidoscopic tale that reimagines Kashmir with the colours of magic and is sure to leave you spellbound.

About the Author

Zuni is a fifteen-year-old author and has published two books of poetry. This is her first novel.She is the daughter of noted film critic Anupama Chopra and filmmaker Vidhu Vinod Chopra. The acclaimed writer Vikram Chandra is her maternal uncle.

 

 


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New Release: How I Became a Tree by Sumana Roy

treeIn this remarkable and often unsettling book, author Sumana Roy gives us a new vision of what it means to be human in the natural world in How I Became a Tree, published by Aleph Book Company.

Increasingly disturbed by the violence, hate, insincerity, greed and selfishness of her kind, the author is drawn to the idea of becoming a tree. ‘I was tired of speed’, she writes, ‘I wanted to live to tree time.’ Besides wanting to emulate the spacious, relaxed rhythm of trees, she is drawn to their non-violent ways of being, how they tread lightly upon the earth, their ability to cope with loneliness and pain, the unselfishness with which they give freely of themselves and much more. She gives us new readings of the works of writers, painters, photographers and poets (Rabindranath Tagore and D. H. Lawrence among them) to show how trees and plants have always fascinated us. She studies the work of remarkable scientists like Jagadish Chandra Bose and key spiritual figures like the Buddha to gain even deeper insights into the world of trees. She writes of those who have wondered what it would be like to have sex with a tree, looks into why people marry trees, explores the death and rebirth of trees, and tells us why a tree was thought by forest-dwellers to be equal to ten sons.

Mixing memoir, literary history, nature studies, spiritual philosophies, and botanical research, How I Became a Tree is a book that will prompt readers to think of themselves, and the natural world that they are an intrinsic part of, in fresh ways.

About the Author:

Sumana Roy writes from Siliguri, a small town in sub-Himalayan Bengal.


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New Release: Suspected Poems by Gulzar

gulzar“He had the blue cow tattooed on his right shoulder

He would have been killed in the riots yesterday

But they were good people—

Seeing a cow, they let him go!”

Written in Gulzar’s inimitable style, the poems in his newest volume of poetry reflect and comment, sometimes elliptically through a visual image, sometimes with breathtaking immediacy and directness, on the political reality in the country today. Powerful, poignant and impossible to ignore or gloss over, the fifty-two threads that make up Suspected Poems unfold across the entire political spectrumfrom the disturbed climate in the country and the culture of intolerance to the plight of the aam aadmi, from the continued oppression of Dalits and minority communities to fluctuating Indo–Pak relations.

Published by Penguin, Suspected Poems has been translated into English by Pavan K. Varma. Suspected Poems will be available in a special keepsake bilingual edition.

About the Author:

Gulzar is one of India’s leading poets; he has published several volumes of poetry and short stories (many of which are available in translation) and is also regarded as one of the country’s finest writers for children. A greatly respected scriptwriter and film director, he is one of the most popular lyricists in mainstream Hindi cinema. He gained international fame when he won an Oscar and a Grammy for the song ‘Jai ho’. Gulzar received the Sahitya Akademi Award in 2002 and the Padma Bhushan in 2004. In 2014 he was awarded the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke Award. He lives and works in Mumbai.

About the Translator:

Pavan K. Varma is the author of The Great Indian Middle Class, Being Indian, Becoming Indian and several other books. After a long and distinguished diplomatic career, he served as cultural adviser to the chief minister of Bihar, and was a member of the Rajya Sabha from 2014 to 2016

 


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New Release: Dreamagination by Rishav Gupta

dream-bk-cover

When Srinanda Gupta was reading stories to her 6-month-old son, little did she know then that this boy would be an author at the age of eight.

Srinanda fondly recalls the day Rishav walked up to her with his drawings and said he wanted a “real” book.

“I clearly remember how happy and confused I was at the same time because I did not quite understand what he meant. After a conversation, Rishav made it clear that he actually wanted to be an author,” says the mother who also teaches at Chatsworth International School in Singapore.  She decided to nurture his passion and give him time to become responsible for his own initiative. Rishav named the book The Lion’s Walk. Each page focused on a place and some detail that he observed of that particular place.

“He narrated the story while I documented it. What was unique was how Rishav read books, made connections with his personal experiences and applied his knowledge in his writing. I got the pages printed and stitched together,” shares Srinanda. That was Rishav’s first book!

Now this Grade 2 student of Chatsworth International School, Singapore, has a book to his credit Dreamagination, published by Kitaab International.

dremagination

The book is a collection of 10 stories written by Rishav between the age of 3 and 7. Dreamagination is more than a book. It is a writing journey of a young boy from doodling, to drawing and then consolidating his ideas in writing.

“This is a big wish come true! You must dream and when the dream becomes bigger, bigger and bigger, it comes true. I want to encourage everyone around the world to write because it helps people to communicate and you can express your heart full of stories. You need dreamagination to live,” says Rishav.

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New Release: This Wide Night by Sarvat Hasin

this-wide-night

This Wide Night authored by Sarvat Hasin is a haunting debut novel that tells of an eccentric Pakistani family and the lonely outsider who wants in. The book is published by Penguin.

The novel reintroduces a classic story, retelling Little Women from the point of view of its chief male character, in the context of Pakistan.

The Maliks live a life of relative freedom in 1970s’ Karachi. Four beautiful sisters—Maria, Ayesha, Leila and Bina—are warily watched over by an unconventional mother. Captain Malik is usually away and so the women forge the rules of their own universe, taking in a few men: Amir, the professor who falls in love with Maria, and Jamal or Jimmy, the neighbour who narrates this tale. The curious young man is drawn in by all four sisters, particularly rebellious Ayesha. But slowly, it becomes clear he will never completely penetrate their circle, just as they will never completely move with the tide that swirls so potently around them.

In the quietly seething world of This Wide NightLittle Women meets The Virgin Suicides in Pakistan. Moving from Karachi to London and finally to the rain-drenched island of Manora, here is a compelling new novel from the subcontinent—and a powerful debut to watch.

About the Author 

Sarvat Hasin was born in London and grew up in Karachi. This is her first novel.


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Felicia Yap’s debut novel “Yesterday” is already a 2017 literary event

By Maggie Fergusson

How do you solve a murder when you can only remember yesterday? The question popped into Felicia Yap’s mind as she was making her way to a ballroom-dance practice in Cambridge, England, in the summer of 2014 and stopped her in her tracks. She worked out “the early contours” of Yesterday, a pacy thriller that will be published in August, before she’d left the dance floor.

The book took 15 months to write; then the bidding began. Eight agents fought to represent her, and several publishers bid to buy the book. In the U.K., Headline Publishing Group eventually secured it for a six-figure sum. I meet Yap—pretty, petite and vivacious—in the publisher’s London offices.

Yesterday turns on the nature of memory. It “holds up a mirror,” Yap says, “to how we make memories, what we choose to forget, what we choose to believe.” These are themes, she believes, that resonate widely, perhaps why rights to the book have already been sold in 11 countries outside the U.K. Yap has just four main characters, but the plot is complex—a murder mystery that takes in cot death, plastic surgery, a psychiatric hospital in the Hebrides and London’s Belmarsh prison—and it ends with a magnificent twist. Most surprising of all, perhaps, is that what begins as a tale of serial adultery morphs into a love story. Read more

Source: Newsweek


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How Malaysian Chinese author Selina Siak turned cancer experience into catalyst for her creativity

By Kate Whitehead

Malaysian Chinese author Selina Siak Chin Yoke began writing her debut novel as a matter of survival. In 2009, she’d undergone two cycles of aggressive chemotherapy to treat breast cancer and was expecting to start feeling better, but instead her world collapsed around her.

“As soon as I stopped going every two weeks for chemo, stopped seeing my doctors regularly, I felt as if my support system had been cut off. I was at the lowest point ever and I knew I had to pull myself out, but I didn’t know how,” Siak says from her home in London.

Face to face with severe depression for the first time in her life, Siak began writing short stories out of desperation. Buoyed by encouraging feedback from an editor acquaintance, Siak remembered a dream she once had about writing a novel based on the life of her great-grandmother and decided to throw herself into the project.

Siak wasn’t looking to become a full-time writer, but the success of that first project, The Woman Who Breathed Two Worlds, which was published in November, and the critical acclaim mean she is embarking on her fourth career. Read more

Source: South China Morning Post


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New Release: Rooh se Rooh tak by Candy de Launey

front-page_v3Published in 2016 by Simurg, an imprint of Kitaab International Pte. Ltd Rooh se Rooh tak, a collection of poems by Candy de Launey explores dimensions of love and fury,
sadness and joy and quiet truths about the variety of human emotions … where soul and body and emotion and consciousness are never separate but a part of the great mystery of life, a riddle whose answer perhaps is love … or perhaps not … with all its fears, longings, expressions and suppressions … dying to take the
risk of discovering her own core self …

The 25 Poems are all in English, and only one is in Hindi of which 6 are musical
recitations which have been composed beautifully by Anand Dhamelia and
Vijutash Angurana and available on Sound cloud.

About the author:

Candy de Launey began writing at the age of 6. Candy holds a Master’s in Business Administration and has studied Psychotherapy & Counselling. She is currently studying Masters in Counselling and hopes to complete her Doctorate research in the areas of: The natural path to Happiness and application of neuroscience in Marketing. Candy is a Leadership & Executive Coach, and a Marketing & Strategic business Consultant by profession with over 23 years of an illustrious career globally. She hails from Bangalore and currently resides in Singapore.

In Rooh se Rooh tak…she bears her Soul to give us a glimpse into the musings of
the dawn, dusk and nights of Love, longing, silence, beauty…fragrant with the
notes of Indian classical tones and western hues which catch the breath and
wake up the senses.