books by Indian authors January 2019

Prepare to spice up your reading in January 2019 with an incredible bunch of new books by Indian authors. Read all about the golden era of Urdu literature and get your hands on a collection of Urdu poems on women. January is going to be a busy month with a book about Pakistan’s ferocious First Lady and poems that take us to the sweets-filled lanes of Kolkata. Mythology is not far behind with a retelling of Ramayana from Sita’s point of view and an accessible version of the Bhagavata Purana. With 2019 elections looming on the horizon, authors S.Y. Quraishi and Ruchir Sharma give us a profound view of Indian politics. Kick off the new year with a healthy goal: read more.



Mir Taqi Mir & C.M. Naim (Tr.)

Mir Taqi Mir was a renowned Urdu poet, and Remembrances is a translation of his autobiography by C.M. Naim. The book covers information about his ancestry, his struggles, and the events happening in North India in the background during the 18th century. The distinguishing features of this book are Mir’s risqué jokes and anecdotes, published for the first time. Another book to look forward to is Mir’s book is also Selected Ghazals And Other Poems (translated by Shamsur Faruqi) which offer the poet’s outstanding ghazals, that celebrate love through earthly elements such as rain and travel using subtle but clever wordplay. It also consists of two amazing love stories by the famed poet.

Releasing on January 5. Buy them here: Remembrances | Selected Ghazals And Other Poems


The Bhagavata Puranas Vols. I, II and III

Bibek Debroy (Tr.)

Author of countless books on Indian Mythology, Debroy is back with three translations of the Bhagavata Purana. One of the most revered texts amongst the Vaishnavas, the Bhagavata Purana combines philosophy with exciting tales of mythical creatures. Debroy’s translation unfolds through conversations and stories, including how Narada inspired Vyasa to write the Bhagavata Purana, Prahlada’s devotion, Daksha’s egoism and many incarnations of Vishnu, especially Krishna. Debroy’s translations make the Bhagavata Purana accessible and are a perfect starting point to dive into this text.  

Releasing on January 05. Buy them here: Vol. I, Vol. II and Vol. III.


Cut: The Death And Life Of A Theatre Activist

Sreemoyee Piu Kundu

Kundu is known for exploring uncharted territory like sexuality and female erotica in India and this time is no different as Cut gives us an understanding of the life of a fictional visionary theatre artist. The book follows different voices while debating whether this artist would be considered a ‘naxal’ or hailed as a hero for standing up against a tyrannical government. Cut explores responsibility towards art when using it as a platform against social injustice and if standing against it is possible even in life-threatening situations.

Releasing on January 10. Buy it here.


Kaifiyat: Verses On Love And Women

 Kaifi Azmi, Rakhshanda Jalil (Tr.)

Kaifi Azmi was a poet unlike any other – his poetry ranged from eternal romantic lyrics to rebellious verses. Kaifiyat is a collection of poems bringing us Azmi’s best work that portrays his views on women and romance through works like the melodic ‘The First Greeting’, the powerful, anthem-like ‘Woman’, the bittersweet ‘Regret’ and the mercurial ‘She Of Many Faces’. In addition to her astute translation, Jalil also gives us an insight into the great man’s life in her introduction while Shabana Azmi, the poet’s daughter, has written a moving Foreword.

Releasing on January 14. Buy it here.


Doab Dil

Sarnath Banerjee

Like two rivers coming together (do ab), Sarnath Banerjee brings together illustrations and words in this brilliant new book. Doab Dil conveys a deadpan and darkly humorous take on man and his immediate environment taking inspiration from many historical and literary sources. Victorian aristocracy and their pride in their gardens, cities hidden in plain sight, the latest technology and what it all means for today’s average person–  everything is recounted using a philosopher’s mind and an artist’s magic. Coming from one of India’s leading graphic novelists, this book takes us to hushed places in this chaotic world.

Releasing on January 15. Buy it here.


The Far Field 

Madhuri Vijay

Madhuri Vijay’s The Far Field journeys from the hustle and bustle of Bangalore to the quiet, gorgeous, and deadly Kashmir. After the death of her mother, the protagonist, Shalini, sets out for Kashmir, certain that her mother’s death is linked to Bashir Ahmed, a Kashmiri salesman who frequented her childhood home and disappeared 10 years ago. Vijay then takes us for a spin when Shalini gets tangled in the local history, violence and hatred that brews in the village she finds herself in and is forced to make choices that could have dangerous consequences. The Far Field examines Indian politics and offers a perspective on loss, anguish and compassion.

Releasing on January 15. Buy it here.


The Legacy Of Nothing

Manoj Pandey

The Legacy Of Nothing is a collection of stories gleaned from the melancholy of modern lives. Pandey narrates tales of woven lies, dark and diverse themes and how they invoke pity in us and if they are worth it.  Manoj Pandey’s unique style has a poetic edge to it and delves into the emptiness that seems to surround all of us and makes us contemplate our existence.

Releasing on January 20. Buy it here.


Many Summers Apart: Gems from Contemporary Urdu Literature

Khalil Ur Rahman Azmi, Huma Khalil

Many Summers Apart aims to introduce readers to the glorious heritage of Urdu literature. It features prominent and progressive Urdu writers from different genres like prose, short story, novel, poetry, humour as well as literary analysis and includes notable works by eminent literary personalities like Munshi Premchand, Ismat Chughtai, Saadat Hasan Manto, Faiz Ahmad Faiz, Kaifi Azmi, Sahir Ludhianvi, and Sardar Jafri, to name just a few. We are in for a treat as we get to experience the depth and magic of Urdu literature.

Releasing on January 20. Buy it here


The Forest Of Enchantments

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

The Ramayana is hailed as one of the world’s greatest epics but is also a tragic love story in many ways. The Forest Of Enchantments is a retelling of this epic with Sita at its forefront and also includes stories of other women like Kaikeyi, Surpanakha, and Mandodari who are often misunderstood and marginalised. Divakaruni has brilliantly portrayed the will of these women and transformed their fight to regain their worth in the world of men into a gripping story. She turns our attention to women-centric questions –  How should women be treated by their loved ones? What are their rights in a relationship? When does a woman need to stand up and say, ‘Enough!’ This book will make you look at The Ramayana from an entirely different perspective- that of Sita’s.

Releasing on January 25. Buy it here.


Get Better At Getting Better

Chandramouli Venkatesan

After the raging success of Catalyst, Venkatesan is back with another book that gives us an insight into why some people are successful while others struggle even though they work hard. He believes that success is contingent not on how good you are but on your ability to improve on your capability to succeed. Accordingly, he suggests that successful people are those that develop a Get-Better Model (GBM) to continuously improve themselves, and this book shows you exactly how to develop one. The GBM consists of four factors for getting better – by yourself; by leveraging others; making others get better; and implementing a get-better plan.  This book is a must-read for anyone looking to unlock their potential at work, and in life.

Releasing on January 25. Buy it here.


The Begum: A Portrait Of Ra’ana Liaquat Ali Khan, Pakistan’s Pioneering First Lady

Deepa Agarwal & Tahmina Aziz Ayub

Pakistan’s first First Lady was an influential personality in politics, and the authors have tried to capture her essence and spirit in The Begum. With an introduction by Namita Gokhale, The Begum follows Begum Ra’ana Liaquat Ali Khan’s journey as she rose to prominence in Pakistani politics, continuing even after the assassination of her husband, Pakistan’s first Prime Minister. Khan was a force to be reckoned with and made a significant contribution to women’s empowerment in Pakistan, and the Pakistan movement. She also spoke out against rising religious conservatism in Pakistan and the growing role of the army. Through this book, Agarwal and Ayub reveal exactly why Khan was nicknamed the Mother of Pakistan.

Releasing on January 28. Buy it here.


Democracy On The Road: A 25 Year Journey Through India

Ruchir Sharma

India’s obsession with politics is well known and with the 2019 elections coming up, it is no wonder questions run rampant. There is growing curiosity as to where the elections will lead us – to Hindu nationalism and populism or towards more secular policies? Will Modi dominate again or will India continue the habit of changing its officials? Sharma has been on the road during Indian elections for 25 years and Democracy On The Road tries to answer these questions through his observations and experiences.

Releasing on January 28. Buy it here.


Sweet Shop

Amit Chaudhuri

Inspired by visits to sweet shops in the by-lanes of Kolkata, Sweet Shop is a collection of poems that often take their themes from sweets named and eaten and then combined with Chaudhuri’s thoughts on culture, people, time, and identity. His poems intend to help us discover, marvel at and taste the universe. Even as your mouth waters while reading the book, you’ll find yourself wondering about what makes us fully human.

Releasing on January 29. Buy it here.


The Great March Of Democracy: Seven Decades Of India’s Elections 

S.Y. Quraishi (ed.)

With India gearing up for the 2019 elections, the Election Commission of India will enter its 70th year. Former Chief Election Commissioner, Quraishi commemorates this occasion with this collection of essays on the evolution of the Commission post-Independence. With remarkable essays by prominent analysts, politicians, academics and many others, The Great March Of Democracy covers the general elections, electoral reforms and the impact of politics. You’ll read the exciting story of the first electoral roll and general elections, and also about the criminalisation of politics.

Releasing on January 29. Buy it here.

Disclaimer: Some of these books were previously available on Kindle or as international editions which were available for import. This list features Indian editions of these books, which tend to be more affordable. The information featured here is accurate as of December 20, 2018.