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Here Are Five Books From India That K.R. Meera Suggests Everyone Should Read

  • IWB Post
  •  September 7, 2019

In her new book ‘The Angel’s Beauty Spots: Three Novellas’, translated from the Malayalam by J Devika, K.R. Meera explores the tragedy, betrayal and violence that rise out of the dark heart of love. Esteemed as one of the country finest storytellers, K. R. Meera’s latest book will serve to embellish her already considerable reputation as a writer of strikingly original fiction.

‘The Angel’s Beauty Spots: Three Novellas’ definitely should become your fresh addition to your reading shelf. And, if you are a woman and seek a vantage point to comprehend India and Indianness as portrayed in literature then there is nothing better than approaching it through the lenses of this modern feminist writer. In a recent column for Scroll, award-winning writer K.R. Meera shared a list of five books that everyone should read.

Here is the list, as recommended by her:

Yuganta: The End of An Epoch
Iravati Karve
Translated from the Marathi by W Norman Brown

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An enlightening book which introspects about the history, sociology, anthropology, and psychology of the mythological characters of the Mahabharata. The reason I like this book is best explained by the author herself: “Besides giving a glimpse into that which is eternally human, old literature of this type makes one aware of cultural alternatives in human choice, and also of the surprising fact that some of the newest literary and philosophical trends are but a new form of an old nagging.”

Women Writing in India: 600 BC to the present
Edited by Susie Tharu and K Lalita

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This book in two volumes is one of the most prized possessions in my personal collection. It offers a collection of texts from 600 BC onwards, marking and documenting the growth of women’s writing in India. These volumes were of great help while writing *Hangwoman*. Over the years, it has transformed me and sometimes I feel nervous when I find that some of the truths I decipher from my own experiences have already been told by other women, who lived in places and times I have no idea of.

My Name Is Radha: The Essential Manto
Sadat Hasan Manto
Translated from the Urdu by Muhammad Umar Memon

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The most haunting stories I have ever read, which are the most relevant in today’s socio-political condition. Stories like “Toba Tek Singh” and “Thanda Ghosht” are real gems of Indian literature. I wish these stories were taught in classrooms at all stages of life.

My Story
Kamala Das

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One of the most haunting books I have ever read and which should be read by every man, woman and transgender person across the world. This book which dared to ask, ‘Was every married adult a clown in the bed, a circus performer?’ liberated women’s writing in Malayalam from chains forever.

The Emperors of the Peacock Throne
Abraham Eraly

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I sincerely believe that this book will give every Indian not only a sense of history but also an understanding of the society we are living in. At a time when history is manipulated and fabricated, it will give us an idea of how to view our present and past objectively.

H/T: Scroll

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