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Shinie Antony recommends: Must reads of 2011

Shinie Antony, author of short-story collection Barefoot and Pregnant and novel When Mira Went Forth and Multiplied, gives us a lowdown of this year's most interesting books.

books Updated: Dec 19, 2011 07:05 IST

Shinie Antony, author of short-story collection Barefoot and Pregnant and novel When Mira Went Forth and Multiplied, gives us a lowdown of this year's most interesting books.

1. Gift in Green by Sarah Joseph: Gift in Green is a mélange of tales and storytelling styles with a moral attached: protect the environment or else! Well-known Malayalam writer Sarah Joseph brought this timely book out simultaneously in English and Malayalam.

2. A Scandalous Secret by Jaishree Misra: A part of her Secrets’ series, A Scandalous Secret tracks the present of two people with their own pasts. Author Jaishree Misra delicately interprets the sub-text between a mother and daughter in this novel.

3. Rebirth by Jahnavi Barua: Jahnavi Barua’s first outing as a novelist, Rebirth delivers what her debut short-story collection Next Door promised: literary superiority. In the novel a would-be mom re-evaluates life so far to plan her future.

4. Ithaca by David Davidar: David Davidar’s third novel Ithaca is a smooth read, mainly because this is one articulate author. No prizes though for guessing main protagonist Zachary Thomas’s  profession – publishing!

5. Revolution 2020 by Chetan Bhagat: Chetan Bhagat proves he is the dialogue dude with his fifth bestseller, Revolution 2020. In this Bhagat not only goes into the seedy side of education, baring the crass commercial nature of privatized teaching, he also gives us some of the best and believable conversations in desi ditties.

6. Translation of Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai’s Chemmeen by Anita Nair: What happens when a well-known classic is translated by a bestselling author of contemporary fiction? Read Anita Nair’s English translation of Chemmeen, a cult novel first published in 1956 in Malayalam, to find out.

7. Karukku by Bama: A new edition of Bama’s famous work, Karukku, came out this year with the addition of a post-script by the author. The first autobiography by a Dalit woman writer, Karukku is translated from Tamil to English by Lakshmi Holmstrom.

8. Sita’s Ramayana by Samhita Arni and Moyna Chitrakar: This graphic novel, as is obvious from the title, is Sita’s telling of the Ramayana. With text by Samhita Arni, Sita’s Ramayana is expressed in Patua art by artist Moyna Chitrakar.

9. Antarjanam by Devaki Nilayamgode: This is a behind-the-scenes story of a Namboodiri woman. Antarjanam by Devaki Nilayamgode sheds considerable light on how the women fared some eight decades ago.

10. The Nothing Man by Ajay Khullar: Journalist Ajay Khullar packs in much attitude and bad-boy verve in debut novel The Nothing Man’. Baru, the leading man of this story, is flirtatious, aimless and destructive. Written in a modern style this book celebrates villainy without going all moral on us.