An Order from the Sky, by Imayam; translated by Vasantha Surya, HarperCollins India, 365 pages, Rs. 599.
No one captures daily life’s arduousness better than Tamil writer Imayam. These slice-of-life short stories are unfortunately let down by clumsy translation and footnotes for everything from vanakkam to neem.
Dust on the Throne: The Search for Buddhism in Modern India; by Douglas Ober, Navayana, 394 pages, Rs. 699.
Buddhism originated in India but is believed to have declined over a few centuries before the colonial period. But this book argues that its sociopolitical impact continued and explains its role in the making of contemporary India.
I See The Face: A Novel; by Shahidul Zahir, translated by V. Ramaswamy, Penguin Random House India, 256 pages, Rs. 499.
Bangladeshi writer Shahidul Zahir’s retelling of the 1971 war is filled with razor-sharp wit and lightness. Moving through time, it is at once the tale of a poor, bright boy and the story of a newly formed nation.
India's Tipping Point: The View from 7 Race Course Road; by S. Narendra, Bloomsbury India, 212 pages, Rs. 699.
Former prime minister P.V. Narasimha Rao’s press secretary, S. Narendra, contextualises Rao’s actions during his tenure, a five-year period which saw big-bang reforms on the one hand and events like the Babri Masjid demolition on the other.