A date with fiction
Looking to pick up an interesting novel or a collection of short stories? Here are four new releases that we recommend should be on your reading list this September
The God Who Loved Motorbikes by Murali K Menon (Juggernaut Books)
This novel is for the crazy biking tribe and even those who aren't. Menon tells us the story of Kandakarnan Swamy alias KK, a local deity of Kollengode, a village in Kerala, who falls in love with motorcycles and starts to travel the world on every bike he can lay his hands on. But what KK wants most is to find the legendary Velocette Venom Thruxton HT, of which there is only a single prototype. The prototype has disappeared and KK decides to track it down. One way to find out what happens next is to pick up the book now and read.
Prelude to a Riot by Annie Zaidi (Aleph Book Company)
A reflection of our times, Zaidi's novel, is set in an unnamed peaceful town that is surrounded by plantations, where bigotry suddenly rears its ugly head. The novel revolves around two families, one Hindu and the other Muslim, who have shared and coexisted in this town—among them, some have even exchanged a close friendship. But the spectre of religious intolerance threatens to haunt this community, in the guise of the Self-Respect Forum "whose mission is to divide the town and destroy the delicate balance". To make it worse, history is being used as ammunition to right the alleged wrongs and we can see that it's all culminating into something predictable and dangerous.
Flyaway Boy by Jane De Suza (Puffin Books)
For parents who can't decide what book to make their kids read over the week-long Ganesh Chaturthi holidays, we think De Suza's new children's fiction might be a good choice. Flyaway Boy is the story of Kabir, a young boy, who doesn't fit in—not in the wintry hill town he lives in, and not in his school, where the lines are always straight. Backed into a corner with no way out, Kabir suddenly vanishes, only to understand who he really is. This is a story about embracing everything that makes you unique.
Manto: The Essential Stories, translated by Muhammad Umar Memon/Chugtai: The Essential Stories, translated by M Asaduddin (Penguin Random House)
You read right. Two collections rolled into one. While the Sadat Hasan Manto collection is split into two sections—Partition, and Sex and Sexuality, both of which have three stories each—the Ismat Chugtai set has three sections. Chugtai's collection, which is divided into Communal Colour, Sex and Sexuality and The Zenana, have a total of eight stories. If you have never been introduced to their writing, this collection is a good one, to begin with. And for hoarders, this book can be one more addition.
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