Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows, Balli Kaur Jaswal (HarperCollins India)
The immigrant narrative can be tricky territory, swivelling between the stereotypical and the unfamiliar. Jaswal, whose previous works include Inheritance and Sugarbread, brings in a wonderfully fresh perspective, setting her tale against the backdrop of a Southall-residing Sikh community. Nikki, the young protagonist who’s grown up more Western than Sikh, takes up a side job at a gurdwara, with dreams of emancipating widowed women by teaching them creative writing. While the women are barely literate, they have stories to tell, dripping with fantasy, sexuality and womanhood.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, JK Rowling (Bloomsbury India)
This updated version of the original 2001 novel features some delightful illustrations by Tomislav Tomic. Written from the perspective of Newt Scamandar, it reflects exciting new developments in the Wizarding World, and offers hints about the Magizoologist’s adventures and relationships. As you marvel over the illustrations, learn about the Occamy, a plumed, two-legged winged serpentine creature found in India and the Far East, and the Nifflers, who are kept by goblins to burrow deep into the earth for treasures.
Dear Ijeawele, Or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions, Chimamanda Ngozi Adiechie (HarperCollins India)
The feisty Nigerian author, whose Tedx talk We Should All be Feminists was published as a standalone volume in 2014, returns with a book that should be made mandatory reading. In Dear Ijeawele, she replies to a friend’s request on how to raise her newborn baby girl as a feminist. The book contains 15 compelling pieces of practical advice that targets the heart of sexual politics, from biological interpretations (the myth that women should be more domesticated), picking a helicopter (and not just a doll) as a toy, and having honest conversations about sexuality.
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From HT Brunch, April 2, 2017
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