Beyond borders
Rumina Sethi
Same-Sex Love in India: A Literary History
Eds. Ruth Vanita and Saleem Kidwai.
Pages 479. Rs 450.
PURITANISM does not allow us to talk about the subject of same sex love in a country where homosexuality is often blamed on "foreign invaders". Yet, the shastras are replete with instances of celebration of same-sex pairs, be they twins, sisters, co-mothers, rivers or friends.

Books received:

The daughter’s case
Nonika Singh
Punjab is a readymade topic for researchers," quips academician author, a lecturer in development studies, University of Manchester. Documenting the obsession of Punjabis with a male child in a book titled Son Preference, this proud Punjaban is dismayed with the social inequalities that criss cross the social fabric of the state. "When it comes to social equilibrium, Punjab is a total disgrace", she says.

Understanding du Maurier
Aradhika Sharma
by Justine Picardie.
Pages 405. Rs 350.
THE book opens with the 50-year-old Daphne du Maurier, whose life seems sad and dreary at that point. Her husband, Tommy Browning, is recovering from a breakdown, brought on by drink and a long-term affair with another woman, whom Daphne christened the ‘snow queen’. We find Daphne at Menabilly, her Cornish home. Daphne is full of regret and desolation, and haunted by the eerie presence of her own fictional creation, Rebecca.

Nature vs development
Ambika Sharma
by Dr Kulwant Singh Pathania and Dr Arun Kumar.
Regal Publications.
Pages 290. Rs 980.
Presenting a quintessence of what the ecosystem can offer to a traveller as well as a student of tourism, this book is a repository of information. Penned by an academician and a bureaucrat serving in Himachal Pradesh, the writing compiles the nitty-gritty which tourism offers as a subject to a student and also to an investor who wishes to take up tourism as a professional venture.

Emotional journey of a refugee
Manmeet Sodhi
Lahore to Delhi ... Rising from the Ashes
by Pran Seth.
Pages 288. Rs 345.
HERE is a persuasive voice, marked with passion for history and truth telling. Pran Seth, a seasoned writer and journalist, layer by layer, with amazing poise, paints an expansive canvas of his life with bright splashes of interesting anecdotes, fond memories and hilarious stories.

Incisive trilogy
Shalini Rawat
The Complete Fiction of Jaya Varma
Writers’ Workshop. Rs 950.
THE first volume Children and Other Stories that I picked up began on a refreshing note. It is a short story about two children who get lost in the big bad city and are rescued in the end (but with a twist in the tail). The rescuer’s husband decides to pick up a ransom by holding them hostage. 

Farewell to feminist icon
Marilyn French, one of the most renowned feminist writers, has passed away in New York after suffering a heart failure. She was 79. The author breathed her last on May 2 in a Manhattan hospital, said Carol Jenkins, her friend and president of the city’s Women’s Media Center.

The essence of Malayaliness
Kerala is many things to many people. While it is "God’s own country" for some because of its scenic lushness, others think it an "embarrassment that encourages constant disorder in its politics and economy". As author Shinie Antony writes in a new anthology, Kerala, Kerala, Quite Contrary there exist multiple Keralas, all volubly at loggerheads with each other — left or right?

Fair laureate
Boyd Tonkin on Carol Ann Duffy’s appointment as the first woman Poet Laureate
Carol Ann Duffy’s appointment as the first female — and first openly gay — laureate in 350 years will rightly be hailed as a transfusion of fresh blood and energy for a role that always risks dying from sheer tedious respectability.

Back of the book
Issues not Tissues
by Ann Marie McMahon. Sterling.
Pages 86. Rs 99.

  • The Secrets of Bhakti
    by Taoshobuddha. Sterling.
    Pages 198. Rs 350.