India's premier luxury lifestyle women's magazine
January 08, 2018

Picture Of Grit: Inspiring Characters, Forgotten Histories And Portraits That Enthrall

Text by Huzan Tata

Make place in your library for our reads of the month

Kiran Nagarkar
Fourth Estate/Harper Collins India
She’s a character that’s lived with the author for 20 years, and one who readers — especially female — will fall in love with in a few pages. A stark look at modern India and all its complexities, Jasoda traces the journey of the titular character as she battles through life with a strength seldom seen in village women. Readers are introduced to Jasoda as she kills her daughter the minute she’s born, discovering her determination in the face of patriarchy with the turn of each page. Nagarkar is known for his works peppered with dry wit that showcase the harsh realities of our country, and does so with this one too.

Coromandel — A Personal History Of South India
Charles Allen
Little, Brown/Hachette India
From the acclaimed historian noted for his stellar biography on Ashoka (Ashoka: The Search for India’s Lost Emperor) comes another journey into the past that uncovers extraordinary stories of our centuries-old land. In Coromandel — the name coined by Europeans for the south-eastern coast of India — Allen talks to politicians, historians and locals to discover the fascinating identity of the Dravidian region. Filled with maps, paintings, and black-and-white images of temples, towns and people, the book is a comprehensive telling of thousands of years of South Indian history. In-depth and vivid, Allen’s non-fictional tome covers the archaeology, religion and cultures of South India, juxtaposing the land’s history with contemporary politics. A gripping read, this one.

The Nine-Chambered Heart
Janice Pariat
Fourth Estate/Harper Collins India
One woman, nine perspectives. The winner of the Young Writer Award by the Sahitya Akademi presents a new work of fiction that focuses on questions of identity; how different we seem through different people’s eyes. Written in stunning prose that will capture your imagination at several moments, The Nine-Chambered Heart is a novel written from the points of view of nine characters who have loved, or been loved, by the central protagonist. Readers will want to learn more about this nameless, unidentified woman with the opening of every chapter, and Pariat’s flair with words will keep you engrossed for the complete 200-page read. Seemingly a collection of nine mini-stories in one novel — each new narrative promises to fascinate and make you lose yourself in Pariat’s enthralling world.

Global Smiles

The Atlas Of Beauty — Women Of The World In 500 Portraits
Mihaela Noroc
Particular Books/Penguin Books
‘Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder,’ is an adage we’ve heard many a time. Romanian photographer Mihaela Noroc brought this phrase to life when she set out to capture striking portraits of women across 50 countries. The Atlas Of Beauty, which started out as an online project, chronicles the faces and stories of women from different races, religions and social status from the world over. Travel from the ruins of Petra in Jordan and the mountains of Afghanistan to picturesque Greece and the seldom-photographed North Korea, as you learn about stories of strife, hope and inspiration along the way. ‘There’s much hate and intolerance in the world, but believe me, there’s much, much more love,’ Noroc acknowledges in her book.

Related posts from Verve:

Leave a Reply