Book Watch: Tejaswini Niranjana shares her favourite reads

By 27 Jan 2021

Tejaswini Niranjana is currently professor and head, Department of Cultural Studies, Lingnan University, Hong Kong, and visiting professor with the School of Arts and Sciences, Ahmedabad University. She is the author of Siting Translation: History, Post-structuralism and the Colonial Context, as well as Mobilizing India: Women, Music and Migration between India and Trinidad. Her translation of Jayant Kaikini’s No Presents Please was jointly awarded the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature

Tejaswini Niranjana

My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante: The first of the so-called Neapolitan novels, a veritable modern masterpiece, the book is an intense story about two friends, Elena and Lila. Ferrante's inimitable style lends itself perfectly to a meticulous portrait of these two women that is also the story of a nation and a touching meditation on the nature of friendship.

Little Aunt Crane by Geling Yan: This is a story of a war survivor, who is sold to a wealthy Chinese family, where she becomes Duohe — the clandestine second wife to the only son, and the secret bearer of his children. Spanning several tumultuous decades of Mao’s rule, Little Aunt Crane is a novel about love, bravery and survival, and how humanity endures in the most unlikely of circumstances.

The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng: Nominated for the Booker Prize, this is another story of war and survival, and how Malay war survivor engages with a Japanese gardener in exile to create a garden in Kuala Lumpur, in memory of her sister.

The Good Muslim, Tahmima Anam: A sequel to Anam’s debut novel A Golden Age, the book spans the year from 1984 to 1985, with occasional flashbacks to the aftermath of the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971. It is a story about faith and family shadowed by a war.

The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: A dazzling collection, these twelve riveting stories by the award-winning author explores the ties that bind men and women, parents and children, Africa and the United States. Searing and profound, suffused with beauty, sorrow, and longing, these stories map, with Adichie’s signature emotional wisdom, the collision of two cultures and the deeply human struggle to reconcile them.

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