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An American Girl in India: Letters and Recollections 1963–64 by Wendy Doniger. Speaking Tiger. Pages 256. Rs 699



Clearing her office post-retirement, Wendy Doniger chanced upon a letter written by her to her parents from India. She had been here for just about four months as a student of Sanskrit and Bangla and was sharing her impressions of the country that had so much to offer. Doniger is today a renowned Indologist and author of several books on Hinduism and the letters she wrote back to her parents during her year-long stay at Calcutta then have been compiled into a book. These letters constitute a peculiar lens through which one could view Doniger’s impressions of India at the time, as explored during her travels to the north and south, giving a peek into the sensitive and sharp-eyed young scholar too.


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Widow — a term that’s used to describe little old ladies in white. A term that is meant to signify the end of concern with any worldliness. But there are some who refuse to conform to the rules, the popular notions of what makes a woman complete. These women, protagonists of Aruna Nambiar’s ‘The Weird Women’s Club’, have little in common with each other, except their inability to be pigeonholed into conventional roles. Will her protagonists Hema, Avanti and Jeroo, struggling to put their lives back on track, find camaraderie in each other? Will they find a second lease of life and love? Former banker and now a writer and editor based in Bengaluru, Nambiar’s storytelling is funny, warm and uplifting at the same time.


Chronicles of the Lost

Daughters

by Debarati Mukhopadhyay. Translated by Arunava Sinha.

HarperCollins.

Pages 326. Rs 499

 

This was a time when Dr Kadambini Devi was struggling for women rights and thousands were being enslaved into indentured labour and sent to South America. Set in those vibrant times in the late 19th century, Debarati Mukhopadhyay’s Bengali novel ‘Narach’ brings together a lively cast of characters to tell a saga of courage and betrayal, about love lost and found. Translated into English by Arunava Sinha, the novel brings to life the travails of Bhubonmoni, a young widow, who must leave her village along with her brother and his family. Ensnared by a wily entrepreneur, they end up in an overcrowded depot near a port, soon to be packed into a ship. The beautifully woven novel brings together the glory and the decadence of colonial times.


Startup Compass: How Iconic Entrepreneurs Got It Right

by Ujwal Kalra, Shobhit Shubhankar.

HarperCollins.

Pages 277. Rs 499

India is a land brimming with endless possibilities and ‘Startup Compass’ offers advice on starting and growing a company amid these exciting times. It brings insight shared at a lecture series in IIM-Ahmedabad and over extensive interviews by 15 iconic Indian entrepreneurs, including Sanjeev Bikhchandani (Naukri), Deep Kalra (MakeMyTrip), Sachin Bansal (Flipkart), Falguni Nayar (Nykaa), Kunal Shah (CRED), Sahil Barua (Delhivery) and Raghunandan G (TaxiForSure), among others. The book is divided into 10 chapters, each covering a different stage in a startup’s journey — from the idea to putting together the team, the product, to raising money and building a behemoth. Through stories of grit and ambition, the authors aim to inspire those looking to begin.


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