Those who have read Hindi author Dharamvir Bharti's works must be familiar with one of his masterpieces, "Gunaho Ka Devta". For the first time, this classic novel has been translated into English. This passionate tale of star-crossed lovers, along with a novel by a Man Booker winner and a slew of other stories.Take a look.
1. Book: Chander and Sudha; Author: Dharamvir Bharti, translated by Poonam Saxena; Publisher: Penguin Viking; Pages: 352; Price: Rs.499
In an idyllic university town, young women daydreamed as they lay on the grass and gazed up at the clouds. Young men took morning walks at Alferd Park. Hot summer afternoons were for drinking sherbet and eating watermelons and evenings for reading poetry. It was also a time of stifling social mores, and love was an unattainable ideal seldom realised.
Allahabad of the 1940's is the serene backdrop to the turbulence of Chander's love for his professor's daughter Sudha. Driven by his passionate belief in the transcending purity of their love, Chander persuades Sudha to marry another man, with devastating consequences. Unhinged by his separation from Sudha and consumed by a restless desire to make sense of love - Is it really about sex? Is the purity of love a lie - Chander spirals into a destructive affair with the seductive Pammi.
Immensely popular since its publication more than half a century ago, this novel continues to seduce readers with its potent mix of tender passion and heartbreaking tragedy.
2. Book: The Buried Giant; Author: Kazuo Ishiguro; Publisher: Faber and Faber; Pages: 345; Price: Rs.799.
The Romans have long since departed and Britain is steadily declining into ruin. But at least the wars that once ravaged the country have ceased.
This novel by a Man Booker winner begins as a couple - Axl and Veatrice - set off across a troubled land of mist and rain in the hope of finding a son they have not seen for years. They expect to face many hazards - some strange and otherworldly - and they cannot yet foresee how their journey will reveal to them dark and forgotten corners of their love for one another.
Sometimes savage, often intensely moving, the author's first novel in a decade is about lost memories, love, revenge and war.
3. Book: Circle of Fate; Author: Prita Warrier; Publisher: Amaryllis; Pages: 291; Price: Rs.295
Devaki, an ageing widow, lives with her maid in a village in Kerala. Haunted by nightmares from her past, she lives through the days in the belief that one day her only son, Naresh, now estranged, will return to her. And then, she gets to know that Naresh and his wife have been killed in a car accident in the US.
Naresh's daughter, Sheela, comes to live with her grandmother. The curious Sheela is only too eager to find out what had gone so wrong between her father and grandmother. However, she finds Devaki reluctant to talk about it.
The US-returned Sheela is like a fish out of water in the small village. While grappling with cultural differences and trying to find her roots, she stumbles upon information that makes her suspect her father was an illegitimate child. From here begins a dark journey into the past, one that travels through the minds of men and women and ends with Devaki's chilling personal revelation.
What was the truth behind Naresh's birth? What could be so disturbing that after hearing Devaki's story, Sheela, like her father, leaves for the US in disgust?
This story will draw the reader into a world that is as complex as it is engaging.
4. Book: All That Could Have Been: Author: Mahesh Bhatt with Suhrita Sengupta; Publisher: Speaking Tiger; Pages: 142; Price: Rs.195
Raising a young child on her own, writing him letters pretending to be his absentee father, Vasudha Prasad has taught herself not to dream.
A wealthy hotelier with no fixed address, Aarav Ruparel travels light, using ambition to shield himself from emotion.
Neither is he seeking love. And when it comes calling, it tests them both: Vasudha must accept that her marriage was a mistake and Aarav must learn that sometimes a loss is a gain.
This novel touches upon several aspects of human relationships.