Bookwatch: Sanghamitra Biswas of Westland shares her favourite reads

Sanghamitra Biswas, a senior commissioning editor with Westland, shares her favourite reads

19 Nov 2019 | By PrintWeek Team

Sanghamitra Biswas

Hangwoman by KR Meera, translated by J Devika: Set in Kolkata, Hangwoman tells the remarkable story of Chetna Grddha Mullick, a woman tied to an age-old profession in a changing world. Through the Grddha Mullicks, whose profession it has been for centuries to carry out executions on behalf of the state, the author examines the delicate balance between good and evil, crime and punishment, life and death. KR Meera (in J Devika’s translation) weaves a subtle yet moving masterpiece.

Fun Home by Alison Bechdel: A graphic memoir of great accomplishment, Fun Home not only uses its visual form to the best advantage but also employs words skillfully. Rich and layered, the book packs quite a punch despite its slim appearance. Bechdel tackles difficult truths about family, love, and growing up gay in a heteronormative world with remarkable wit and spunk making this a dark and yet enjoyable read. 

Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed: Once upon a time, bestselling author Cheryl Strayed donned her agony aunt avatar as Sugar and answered questions from the profound to the profane on a website called The Rumpus. The best of those questions (and answers) have been compiled in this treasure trove of a book. Strayed’s method is conversational, warm and nonjudgmental. A perfect book to dip into on gloomy days. 

In The Woods by Tana French: As a lover of good crime fiction I cannot recommend Tana French enough. Her books are taut thrillers that also capture in-depth police investigations. French’s writing is addictive and luckily she has quite a body of work already. Her debut In The Woods is a good place to start reading about workings of the Dublin Murder Squad.  

Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie: Published in 1990, this is arguably Rushdie’s best work and a personal favourite. Written as a children’s story for his son Zafar, this allegorical tale tells the story of Haroun who must go on an adventure to cure his father Rashid Khalifa who has mysteriously lost his ability speak and thus spin stories. This inventive and fantastical tale remains as relevant today as it was back when it was published.