Wishlist: Five Interesting New Books from Penguin

Browsing through the Penguin India website for new and recent releases, we found five books that we’d love to read. It’s a diverse bunch of books: from a son’s story of his father’s life with Alzheimer’s to an anthology of modern Tibetan essays, and from an exploration of Pakistan’s religious minorities to the story of India’s former Chief of Defence Staff, the late General Bipin Rawat who sadly passed away at the end of 2021 in a helicopter mishap. As regular readers may have noticed, we only feature non-fiction for the most part, but here the fifth book is an exception – a collection of folktales from across the country, a particularly well-selected collection of stories that should appeal to a wide variety of readers.

My Father’s Brain: Life in the Shadow of Alzheimer’s, by Sandeep Jauhar

‘There may be up to 10 million Indians living with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementias, and that number is expected to increase dramatically in the next few decades. What is it like to live with and amid this increasingly prevalent condition-an affliction that some fear more than death? In My Father’s Brain, the distinguished physician and author Sandeep Jauhar sets his father’s descent into Alzheimer’s alongside his own journey toward understanding this disease and how it might best be coped with, if not cured,’ says the publisher’s note.

‘In an intimate memoir rich with humour and heartbreak, Jauhar relates how his immigrant father and extended family felt, quarrelled, and found their way through the dissolution of a cherished life. Along the way, he lucidly exposes what happens in the brain as we age and our memory falters and explores everything from the history of ancient Greece to the most cutting-edge neurological-and bioethical-research. Throughout, My Father’s Brain confronts the moral and psychological concerns that arise when family members must become caregivers, when children’s and parents’ roles reverse, and when we must accept unforeseen turns in our closest relationships-and in our understanding of what it is to have a self. The result is a work of essential insight into dementia, and into how scientists, caregivers, and all of us in an aging society are reckoning with the fallout,’ it adds.

Format: Hardcover / Kindle
Number of pages: 356 / 249
Price: Rs 503 / Rs 478
Available on: Amazon

The Penguin Book of Modern Tibetan Essays, edited and translated by Tenzin Dickie

The Penguin Book of Modern Tibetan Essays is a ground-breaking anthology of modern Tibetan non-fiction. This unprecedented collection celebrates the art of the modern Tibetan essay and comprises some of the best Tibetan writers working today in Tibetan, English and Chinese. There are essays on lost friends, stolen inheritances, prison notes and secret journeys from-and to-Tibet, but there are also essays on food, the Dalai Lama’s Gar dancer, love letters, lotteries and the Prince of Tibet. The collection offers a profound commentary not just on the Tibetan nation and Tibetan exile, but also on the romance, comedy and tragedy of modern Tibetan life,’ says the publisher’s note. ‘For this anthology, editor and translator Tenzin Dickie has commissioned and collected 28 essays from 22 Tibetan writers, including Woeser, Jamyang Norbu, Tsering Wangmo Dhompa, Pema Bhum and Lhashamgyal. This book of personal essays by Tibetan writers is a landmark addition to contemporary Tibetan letters as well as a significant contribution to global literature,’ it adds.

Format: Hardcover / Kindle
Number of pages: 320 / 328
Price: Rs 490 / Rs 465
Available on: Amazon

A White Trail: A Journey Into the Heart of Pakistan’s Religious Minorities, by Haroon Khalid

‘The formation of Pakistan and the search for an Islamic identity are inextricably interlinked. In recent years, the rise of Islamic fundamentalism in the country owing to the twists and turns of global politics has complicated matters. The religious intolerance that almost always accompanies fundamentalism has placed the minority communities of Pakistan in a precarious position. A White Trail is an ethnographic study of these communities and their lives. At a time when almost all accounts of religious minorities in the country focus on the persecution and discrimination they experience, this work delves deeper into their lives, using the occasion of religious festivals to gain a deeper insight into the psyche of Pakistani Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Zoroastrians and Bahais. It seeks to understand, through the oral testimonies of the members of these communities, larger socio-political issues arising from the situation,’ says the publisher’s note.

Format: Paperback / Kindle
Number of pages: 256 / 322
Price: Rs 301 / Rs 319
Available on: Amazon

Bipin: The Man Behind the Uniform, by Rachna Bisht Rawat

‘On the morning of 8 December 2021, India’s Chief of Defence Staff, General Bipin Rawat, and his wife, Madhulika, said goodbye to their daughter, Tarini, and dogs, and left their Delhi home to board a flight for Sulur in Tamil Nadu. Around 11.48 a.m., they boarded an Mi-17 V5 helicopter that took off from Sulur to Wellington, where Gen. Rawat was to deliver a lecture at the Defence Services Staff College. Just a few minutes away from its destination, the chopper crashed, and all fourteen passengers onboard eventually perished. It was a sudden and shocking end to the life of a man who had risen like a meteor in the defence forces. Bipin: The Man behind the Uniform is the story of the NDA cadet who was relegated in the third term for not being able to do a mandatory jump into the swimming pool; of the young Second Lieutenant who was tricked into losing his ID card at the Amritsar railway station by a 5/11 Gorkha Rifles officer posing as his sahayak; of the Major with a leg in plaster who was carried up to his company post on the Pakistan border because he insisted on joining his men for Dusshera celebrations under direct enemy observation; of the Army Chief who decided India would retaliate immediately and openly to every act of cross-border terrorism; of the Chief of Defence Staff who was happiest dancing the jhamre with his Gorkha troops. Written by bestselling author Rachna Bisht Rawat and featuring in-depth interviews with Bipin Rawat’s friends, family members and comrades, this book is a befitting tribute to one of India’s greatest and most controversial Generals,’ says the publisher’s note.

Format: Hardcover / Kindle
Number of pages: 304 / 247
Price: Rs 337 / Rs 320
Available on: Amazon

Folktales from India, selected and edited by A K Ramanujan

‘Folklore pervades childhoods, families and communities and is the language of the illiterate. Even in large, modern cities, folklore – proverbs, lullabies, folk medicine, folktales – is only a suburb away, a cousin or a grandmother away. Wherever people live, folklore grows. India is a country of many languages, religions, sects and cultures. It is a land of many myths and countless stories. Translated from twenty-two Indian languages, these one hundred and ten tales cover most of the regions of India and represent favourite’s narratives from the subcontinent. A.K. Ramanujan’s outstanding selection is an indispensable guide to the richness and vitality of India’s ageless oral folklore tradition,’ says the publisher’s note.

Format: Hardcover / Paperback / Kindle
Number of pages: 456 / 456 / 457
Price: Rs 446 / Rs 395 / Rs 375
Available on: Amazon

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