As 2021 dawns, we all have picked some habits, intentionally or not, to get us through the chaos around us. It’s our way to try and find something constant in these ever- changing times.
For us, it has been books. Travelling in time and space without leaving the comfort and safety of our homes. Especially now, when we are restricted from most places and experiences, books have been our saviour! They let us live through them and occasionally live 678 pages in two days!
Lucky for us, India has been home to innumerable Man Booker prizes and awards! And in this vast Indian literature, we wanted to highlight some of our female authors, who with their profound thoughts and significant questions are changing the society one book at a time!
And so to help you begin your ‘reading’ journey this year, we have listed 7 books to look forward to in 2021 by female Indian authors.
"How I became me during the 'in between' of what you haven't seen."
- Priyanka Chopra
An extraordinary life story rooted in two continents, this is a thoughtful and revealing memoir from one of the world's most recognizable women! While reflecting on her nomadic early years, Priyanka shares her challenges and triumphs from her dual-continent twenty-year-long career as an actor and producer to her work as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, from losing her beloved father to cancer to marrying Nick Jonas, Priyanka Chopra Jonas’s story will inspire a generation around the world to gather their courage, embrace their ambition, and commit to the hard work of following their dreams.
A new novel from Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jhumpa Lahiri is always great news, but what makes Whereabouts, slated for a June release, more exciting is the fact that this is Lahiri’s first novel written in Italian and translated to English.
Exuberance and dread, attachment and estrangement: in this novel, Jhumpa Lahiri stretches her themes to the limit. The woman at the center wavers between stasis and movement, between the need to belong and the refusal to form lasting ties. The story of a woman in search of change, this is her first novel since The Lowland, 2013.
"Dr. Gowrinathan has spent two decades with women militants—and this brilliant, lyrical book is both a meditative engagement with the aftershocks of state violence and an explosive exercise in telling deeply uncomfortable truths about the gendered lens of our social outlook.”
-Meena Kandasamy, author of When I Hit You
Nimmi Gowrinathan is a writer, a scholar, and an activist. She is a Professor at the City College of New York, where she founded the Politics of Sexual Violence Initiative.Though the female fighter is often seen as an anomaly, women make up nearly 30% of militant movements worldwide. Historically, these women–viewed as victims, weak-willed wives, and prey to Stockholm Syndrome–have been deeply misunderstood.Radicalizing Her
holds the female fighter up in all her complexity as a kind of mirror to contemporary conversations on gender, violence, and power. Coming at a political moment that demands an urgent re-imagining of the possibilities for women to resist, Radicalizing Her
reclaims women’s roles in political struggles on the battlefield and in the streets.
Get a glimpse into Dr.Nimmi Gowrinathan and her impactful theories here
“A visual and emotional treat, full of gorgeous artwork and soothing insight. Make some tea, curl up with this beautiful book, and let Manjit’s warmth, sincerity, and intimacy wash over you. You’ll understand yourself a bit better, and you’ll feel like you’ve made an instant friend.”
-Mari Andrew, New York Times bestselling author of Am I There Yet
Manjit, an illustrator from the United Kingdom, articulates and validates the range of feelings we all experience, in a book that allows us to feel connected and comforted by the experiences that make us human.
A gorgeous visual journey through one young woman's year of emotions--from the saturated highs of early summer to the grey isolation of late winter. Enter Manjit Thapp's world, where you'll find moods that change as quickly as the weather; the different shades of anxiety and hope that each new season brings; and the stages of joy and pain that fuel our growth.
Featured here - Classic Ring, Simple Chain In the Language of Remembering: Generational Memories of the Partition by Aanchal Malhotra
Aanchal Malhotra, an artist and oral historian working with memory and material culture, in her first book, Remnants of a Separation, narrated stories of the survivors of Partition who experienced the momentous event first-hand. In the Language of Remembering: Generational Memories of the Partition takes the narrative forward by shifting focus to the post-memory generation - how the generations that have not witnessed Partition engage with its history; whether a pre-Partition identity belonging to their parents or grandparents constitutes any part of their present life. How does the event continue to affect one today, and what does it mean to remember it?
Are there physical and psychological consequences of belonging to a Partition-affected family? How does Partition anchor the collective experiences as South Asians and shape the way one perceives the world? How does it build the characteristics, augment fears and populate one's history? These are some questions she explores through the stories she tells in the book.
Featured here - Classic Ring An Educated Woman in Prostitution: A Memoir of Lust, Exploitation, Deceit (Calcutta, 1929), Manada Devi (translated by Arunava Sinha)
Arunava Sinha, an award-winning translator of Bengali fiction, non-fiction and poetry, translates Manada Devi’s memoir as she glides through a life that can be seen as exploitative yet, also, curiously, empowering and honest. Manada’s fascinating life story takes her from her wealthy cossetted upbringing to a life of debauchery and prostitution after she elopes with her married lover when in her mid-teens. She is capable, attractive and doesn’t ask for pity as she struggles with illness, poverty and abandonment, but ensures that she emerges relatively unscathed and carves a niche for herself in her profession.
Featured here - Cube charm Club You To Death by Anuja Chauhan
Anuja Chauhan worked in advertising for over seventeen years and is credited with many popular campaigns including PepsiCo’s Nothing official About It, Yeh Dil Maange More, Mera Number Kab Aayega, Oye Bubbly and Darr ke Aage Jeet Hai. She is the author of bestselling novels like The Zoya Factor, Those Pricey Thakur Girls, The House that BJ Built all of which have been acquired by major Bombay studios.
Anuja Chauhan’s forthcoming novel Club You To Death is a brilliant amalgamation of her patented mix of laugh-out-loud humour and toe-tingling romance… this time, with a dollop of spine-chilling suspense! We’re definitely keeping our eyes peeled for this nail-biting thrilled that drops next month.
Until next time, keep STAC-ing!