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Top titles of Twenty 10

Last year,the world of Indian bibliophiles was divided with Amitav Ghosh and Aravind Adiga battling for the Booker Prize.

Written by Alaka Sahani |
January 15, 2010 11:12:15 pm

Last year,the world of Indian bibliophiles was divided with Amitav Ghosh and Aravind Adiga battling for the Booker Prize. The absence of an Indian name in this prestigious award’s shortlist this year as well as sporadic high-profile book releases denied the year 2009 an obvious high moment,unlike 2008. But 2010,seems to have many delights in store—by international,Indian English and regional authors. The range is likely to be much more varied with translations,illustrated books,graphic novels and pulp fictions set to come out this year.

Good news for those who have missed Upamanyu Chatterjee’s humour. In February,his dark and caustic novel Way to Go will be published under Hamish Hamilton. However,it’s April which will see the release of more than one major novel. One Amazing Thing by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni,who moves to Penguin with her new novel about the incredible power of storytelling,has an April launch scheduled.

Philip Pullman’s The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ,a brilliant retelling of the life of Jesus too will hit the bookstand in the same month. Around the same time,Jaya: An Illustrated Retelling of the Mahabharata by Devdutt Pattanaik will be published. A major release in the early part of 2010 is Booker Prize winner Yann Martel’s new novel Beatrice and Virgil.

Penguin has the most impressive line-up of international books. “Some are imported from Penguin UK and other publishers abroad like Faber and Bloomsbury,” says Rachna Kalra of Penguin India. In January,Paul Hoffman’s The Left Hand of God,the first part of an epic fantasy trilogy and Peter Carey’s new novel Parrot and Olivier in America,a picaresque romp through the New World published by Faber & Faber will be launched. Bloomsbury starts the year with Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert (of Eat,Pray,Love fame) that explores the institution of marriage. This will be followed by Hanif Kureishi’s Collected Stories (March) and Danielle Trussoni’s Angelology (April)—a clever,fast-paced thriller based on the world of the next biggest thing after vampires,angels. Lights Out in Wonderland,the new novel from Booker Prize-winner DBC Pierre,gets published in July.

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The leaders of India are in a mood to reveal more about themselves and about the state of affairs. “HarperCollins’ My Years as President by APJ Abdul Kalam takes a look at one of the most notable—and popular—presidencies in recent times. Former Speaker of Lok Sabha Somnath Chatterjee too pens Memoirs of a Parliamentarian,” says Lipika Bhusan of HarperCollins. More political books to come from the publishing house are Dragon on the Prowl: India’s China Problem by Brahma Chellaney and The China Syndrome by Dr Harsh Pant.

Translations have become a new flavour in Indian literature. Leading the publication of page-turning translations is Blaft. “One of the prominent releases of 2010 is The Blaft Anthology of Tamil Pulp Fiction Vol II. This is a follow-up to 2008’s successful first collection of pulp fiction,” says Rakesh Khanna founder of Blaft. Blaft is also bringing a series of four classic Jasoosi Duniya novellas from the most loved of Urdu detective writers. HarperCollins has more of these delightful readings. It will publish 15 titles from Jasoosi Duniya and Imran series by Ibnis Safi. Apart from that,two classic ‘Vimal’ adventures from the master of Hindi crime fiction writer Surender Mohan Pathak—Daylight Robbery and

Fortune’s Ransom—will be published by Blaft.

Different take
Metro Reads:
In January,this new publishing initiative by Penguin brings three page-turners—Dreams in Prussian Blue,Love Over Coffee and Where Girls Dare—by first-time authors at Rs 150 each. Expect three more in August.


India’s Great Masters of Classical Music: Raghu Rai’s latest with text by Ashok Vajpayi

The Harappa Files: A pictorial essay by Sarnath Banerjee

But the Trains are on Time: A graphic novel set in Delhi by Vishwajyoti Ghosh

A House for Mr Biswas: VS Naipaul’s masterpeice translated in Hindi under HarperCollins’ World Classics titles. Also coming soon are The White Tiger and Almost Single in Hindi.


Homeboy: by H.M. Naqvi,featuring young Pakistanis in post 9/11 America.

Vengeance Of Ravan: The latest instalment in Ashok Banker’s hugely successful Ramayana series,publishes in June.

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First published on: 15-01-2010 at 11:12:15 pm

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