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New on shelves: 5 new titles to add to your TBR list

From the selected works of poet Varavara Rao to the story of the first Bangladeshi woman on Wall Street, here are some of our picks for you to read.

The book covers.
The book covers.


R.A.W Hitman, by S. Hussain Zaidi

Veteran journalist and prolific crime writer of over a dozen books, S. Hussain Zaidi adds another title to his bibliography. Based the double-murder case of gangsters Raju Pargai and Amit Arya in Uttarakhand in September 2011, this book spans events till 2015 when the accused, Laxman ‘Lucky’ Bisht, arrested a day after the murder, was released from jail. Bisht’s arrest was rife with intrigue especially since he was an NSG commando who had been the personal security officer for political leaders including former chief ministers of several states and national leaders like L.K. Advani. Pargai was already on the radar of the Indian intelligence agencies, who had assigned a covert assassin named Agent Lima to deal with him. The question arose then, of whether Bisht and Lima were the same person arose. If not, why was Bisht in jail for five years despite being in the National Security Guard?

Published by Simon & Schuster; 304 pages, 499

Heartfelt: A Cardiac Surgeon’s Pioneering Journey, by P. Venugopal with Priya Sankar

Authored along with a communications consultant, Priya Sankar, this book is the memoir of Dr. P Venugopal, who performed India’s first heart transplant in the year 1994 at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi. Venugopal is said to have performed over 50,000 surgeries has been credited as being responsible for modernising cardiac surgery in India back in the 1970s. In addition to being the head the Cardio-Thoracic Centre, he was also dean and director of the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences. With this book, the veteran surgeon hopes to throw light upon “the trials and anguish that went into pioneering India’s modern cardiac surgery programme”, and for the reader to know “the person behind the surgeon’s scrubs”.

Published by HarperCollins India; 280 pages; 499

Varavara Rao: A Life in Poetry, edited by N. Venugopal and Meena Kandasamy

Selected works of Varavara Rao, the biggest names in modern Telugu poetry, have been translated into English for the first time. The 82-year-old, who is currently on medical bail having been arrested as an accused in the 2018 Bhima Koregaon case, started writing poetry when he was in his late teens. Edited by literary critic N. Venugopal and activist and poet Meena Kandasamy, the book is a mix of work curated from 16 books that have been published in Telugu and speaks of his association with various movements of social change from the over half a century.

Published by Penguin Random House India; 120 pages, 499

The Defiant Optimist, by Durreen Shahnaz

The story of the first Bangladeshi woman on Wall Street. Durreen Shahnaz takes the reader through her life, and how her work led her to launch, for example, the world’s first stock exchange for social enterprises, and later the Women’s Livelihood Bond Series, which is the world’s first tradable financial product for investing in underserved women’s livelihoods. Through this book, Shahnaz offers strategies and plans to put women and other marginalised communities at the centre of global financial systems.

Published by Penguin Random House India, 256 Pages, 499

The Starved, by Mangalu Charan Biswal, translated by Nirjharani Tripathy

An English translation of the 1984 Odiya play Bhuka, by the late literary icon Mangalu Charan Biswal. Set in Sambalupur, this story follows five Bajnias or folk music performers who are ideally revered as the bridges between humans and gods, and contrasts their stark realities of living in poverty and facing social discrimination. Translated by Nirjharini Tripathy an associate professor at the Department of English at the Utkal University in Bhubaneshwar, The Starved tries to home in on the problem of keeping alive traditional crafts and cultural values versus embracing a modern way of living. The issues of poverty, the status of women, and caste and class discrimination therefore follow. The original story was also adapted by director Sabysachi Mohapatra into a Sambalpuri film in 1989.

Published by Hachette India, 160 pages, 399


Also read: Abhishek Choudhary's book is a window into the life of Vajpayee

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