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HT Picks: This week’s most interesting books

Bill Clinton’s thriller, a book on marriage in Mumbai, and a life of Karunanidhi, there’s a lot to read this week!

books Updated: Jun 08, 2018 21:45 IST
HT Team
HT Team
Hindustan Times
Karunanidhi,Tamil,marriage
On the reading list this week - a thriller, a political biography, and a look at marriage in Mumbai.(HT Team)

THE PRESIDENT IS MISSING; A NOVEL BY BILL CLINTON AND JAMES PATTERSON

513pp, Rs 599; Penguin

he President disappears. The world is in shock. But the reason he’s missing is much worse than anyone can imagine.

With details only a president could know, and the kind of suspense only James Patterson can deliver.

The President is Missing. The most gripping and surprising thriller in years.*

LOVE AND MARRIAGE IN MUMBAI BY ELIZABETH FLOCK

318pp, Rs 499; Bloomsbury

In twenty-first-century India, tradition is colliding with Western culture, a clash that touches the lives of everyday Indians from the wealthiest to the poorest. While ethnicity, class, and religion are influencing the nation’s development, so too are pop culture and technology – an uneasy fusion whose impact is most evident in the institution of marriage.

Love and Marriage in Mumbai introduces three couples whose relationships illuminate these sweeping cultural shifts in dramatic ways: Veer and Maya, a forward-thinking professional couple whose union is tested by Maya’s desire for independence; Shahzad and Sabeena, whose desperation for a child becomes entwined with the changing face of Islam; and Ashok and Parvati, whose arranged marriage, made possible by an online matchmaker, blossoms into true love.

Elizabeth Flock spent close to a decade getting to know these couples – listening to their stories and living in their homes, where she was privy to marital joy, inevitable frustration, dramatic upheaval, and whispered confession and secrets. The result is a phenomenal feat of reportage that is both an enthralling portrait of a nation in the midst of transition and an unforgettable look at the universal mysteries o love and marriage that connect us all.*

KARUNANIDHI; A LIFE IN POLITICS BY SANDHYA RAVISHANKAR

250pp, Rs 599; HarperCollins

Wearing his characteristic dark glasses and draped in a yellow shawl, M Karunandhi has been a pillar of Tamil politics for over six decades. He has been the leader of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam since 1969 and the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu five times. With the death of J Jayalalithaa in 2016, he is undoubtedly the tallest leader in the state, even though his party is not in power and he is in poor health at the age of ninety-four.

Karunanidhi: A Life in Politics looks at the pioneering social justice and welfare schemes that the leader is identified with , as also the work he did to champion the causes of Dravidian identity and Tamil culture. It documents the DMK’s fraught ties with a string of central governments. At the same time, it also analyses the controversies he has been embroiled in, including his party’s alleged support for the LTTE, which assassinated Rajiv Gandhi in 1991, and the involvement of DMK leaders in the 2G spectrum scandal.

It depicts in dramatic detail his relationships with the who’s who of Tamil politics: from megastar and friend turned foe MG Ramachandran to Jayalalithaa and her infamous vengeful raid of June 2001, when she had the police drag the ageing leader out of his home at midnight. And it considers the road ahead for the state at a time when lightweights have assumed power and demigods like Rajnikanth and Kamal Haasan are waiting in the wings.

This is a timely account – the first in English – of the trailblazing life of one of India’s most important politicians.*

*All copy from the book flap.