Book Title: Clearly Invisible In Paris
Author: Koel Purie Rinchet
A RICH socialite who lives a life of luxury with her film director husband while smoking joint after joint; a burlesque dancer who depends on sex work to afford her luxuries; a model trying to make it in the global capital of fashion; a Kuwaiti mistress’ ex-servant just wants to go back to the Philippines to her son. The four women — Neera, Rosel, Violet and Dasha — are connected by their identity as immigrants in Paris and their address: 36 rue de Diablesse. Just floors away from each other, yet never connected, they rely on each other to face their demons together, including those of lost love, poverty, abandonment, murder and identity theft. The book has been written by actor-anchor Koël Purie Rinchet, who shifted to Paris after she married a Frenchman. A celebration of being an outsider, this is her first novel.
VICTORIAN horror stories are legendary, and so are authors Bithia Mary Croker and Alice Perrin. This collection brings together the spookiest short stories written by the duo, most of whose works are based in India. The khidmatgar of a derelict mansion is always at his master and mistress’ service, but only after dark. A dead woman comes calling for her devoted husband, the Collector of a colonial outpost. An unwelcoming khansamah in a dak bungalow hides a sinister secret. An ayah bewilders her mistress when she sings lullabies to her imaginary charge. And a hill station home comes to be occupied by a family of four, happy for the surprisingly low rent they must pay, until they discover why. Drawing upon local legends, colonial records and Indian folklore, these gripping tales will send shivers down your spine and yet leave you craving for more.
BY virtue of their experiences, memoirs of civil servants are always engaging. This one, by Bihar bureaucrat Anjani Kumar Singh, is especially appealing for it recounts a life that is a confluence of tradition and modernity; of formal education and lessons learnt through encounters with the diverse worlds of Bihar and India; of professional commitment and personal conviction; of public service and private passions. There are fascinating insights into the challenges of governance and developmental work. Singh also shares about building one of the world’s finest collections of rare plants and, his shining achievement — setting up the splendid Bihar Museum, a home for both classical and contemporary South Asian art, which compares with the best in the world. Singh retired as the Chief Secretary of Bihar.
A FANTASY comprising tales of heroes and monsters, ‘Wayel Kati’ has been woven into a plot with several stories from different corners of Manipur. As the author says, the stories have been preserved in oral tradition for a long time, in an attempt to connect with the past and lost knowledge. The story revolves around seven guardians ‘chosen’ to retrieve the scissor of justice, the Wayel Kati. None of them knows much about the quest, except for Laiba, the nine-year-old head priest. The world is at the brink of collapse and the guardians struggle to find their true selves and deliver their one divine task. The book delves into the themes of nature worship and environment preservation, as well as human inclination towards magic, myth and fantasy as a means to cope with reality.
ASHWIN SUBRAMANIAM'S world is turned upside down when his family is forced to relocate. In the span of a year, the teenager navigates life in the 1990s, forges new friendships in Kalpavriksha Colony or what he calls K Colony, and deals with his louse of a cousin, Chuppu. From comical mishaps to unexpected adventures, Ashwin’s journey is a delightful and light-hearted ride as he learns the true meaning of friendship and family in an unfamiliar place surrounded by unfamiliar people. ‘A Boy Called Dustbin’ is a must-read for anyone seeking a nostalgic escape from the rigmarole of life into their own childhood. Told in an easy language, befitting of a regular teenager, the novel is easy to read. The book has been written by Arjun Krishnakumar with illustrations by Yamini Ravichandran.