A fictional telling of the history of Bangladesh, an intellectual biography of B.R. Ambedkar, and more.
The Return of Faraz Ali
Aamina Ahmad’s debut novel, which released internationally in 2022, is now being published in India. Set in Lahore’s underbelly, this is the story of Faraz, who always follows orders. But asked to cover up the violent death of a young girl, he suddenly finds himself at a loss as the city assails him with memories and he cannot stop asking questions, which threaten his precariously constructed life.
What Will People Say?
When Mihika, a 56-year-old widow, gets drawn into a relationship with Zuhayr, a 60-year-old divorcee who was her late husband’s friend, it creates a scandal, not the least because of Zahayr’s religion. Soon it takes a sinister turn. While being rooted in the culture and sensibilities of Assam, the novel addresses universally relatable concerns.
_ _ _
I See the Face
Shahidul Zahir, translated by V. Ramaswamy
Harper Perennial India
This is an alternative telling of the history of Bangladesh, beginning with the War of Liberation in 1971. The novel moves from the past to the present, and back again, as it paints a picture of post-independence Bangladesh and describes how society drives a poor but brilliant boy to destruction.
_ _ _
Fear and Lovely
Penguin Hamish Hamilton
Mallika is a shy young woman growing up in a New Delhi colony. Though she is surrounded by love, her life is complicated by secrets that she, her mother, and her aunt work hard to keep. After going into deep depression, she must find her way back while hiding her mental illness from her community.
_ _ _
When Ardh Satya Met Himmatwala: The many lives of 1980s Bombay Cinema
The author of Cinema Bhojpuri and 40 Retakes narrates how the 1980s—when television, video cassettes, and piracy changed how films were viewed; film stars were elected to Parliament in surprising numbers; and police dramas and action comedies ruled the roost—were perhaps the most transformative decade for Hindi cinema.
_ _ _
Becoming Babasaheb: The Life and Times of Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar (Volume 1)
Aakash Singh Rathore
Based on original archival research, this first volume of a two-part biography takes a fresh look at Dr B.R. Ambedkar’s life from his birth in 1891 to the Mahad Satyagraha in 1929 to reveal the nature and character of the man behind the legend.
_ _ _
Dust on the Throne
Offering a radically new perspective on India’s modern Buddhist revival—when Dr B.R. Ambedkar converted to Buddhism along with half a million of his Dalit followers in 1956—this book recovers the integral role of lesser-known anti-caste activists and Buddhist monastics in the making of modern global Buddhism even as it accounts for its powerful influence in the shaping of modern Indian history.
_ _ _
Foolproof: Why We Fall for Misinformation and How to Build Immunity
Sander van der Linden
Fake news may well be the defining problem of our era. Sander van der Linden takes us through the psychology of conspiratorial thinking and equips us with the eleven “antigens” that will help the reader discern fact from fiction, push back against methods of mass persuasion and stop the spread of misinformation once and for all.