Ask fanboys about their most anticipating read in the coming year, chances are they would say it’s George RR Martin’s long-promised next instalments to A Song of Fire and Ice saga, The Winds of Winter. With release dates perpetually being postponed, we have no idea if we will finally get to read the book this year (the same is the story with Vikram Seth’s A Suitable Girl, isn’t it? After the author returned his advances to Penguin Random House, Aleph had announced that it will publish the book. But no sign of it as yet!).
But we needn’t worry; we have enough books and some coming up in 2018 to keep us busy. Here are some highlights.
The world over, 2017 was the year of #metoo. So start 2018 with the memoirs of one of the heroes of the movement, Rose McGowan’s Brave, where the actress and activist chronicles her childhood in a cult and her complicated, painful experiences at the hands of the Hollywood machine.
Not That Bad
In this age of feminist resurgence, another not-to-be-missed book is Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture edited by Roxane Gay, where rising and established authors examining the realities of living in a society where men pose the greatest threat to a woman's safety and well-being.
Leonard Cohen may be gone, but his flame of his memory lives on. Shortly before his passing in late 2016, Cohen sat down to assemble this collection of previously unpublished poems, called The Flame. Completed just days before his death, the book represents not just a portion of Cohen's voluminous life's work, but also a window into the mind of an exceptional artist.
Coming home, India is a country of young people. This generation lives between extremes: more connected and global than ever, but with narrow ideas of Indian identity; raised with the cultural values of their grandparents, but the life goals of American teenagers. Journalist Snigdha Poonam tracks these young fortune-seekers, aspiring Bollywood stars and clickbait gurus, the Cow Protection Army hoodlums and India's first female student union president, all united by the belief that they were born for bigger and better things, in Dreamers: How Young Indians are Changing the World
The Himalayan Arc
Edited by Namita Gokhale, The Himalayan Arc: East of South East focuses on a crucial, enthralling, politically turbulent, yet often underreported part of the Himalayan belt. With over thirty contributors such as Sanjoy Hazarika, Janice Pariat, Prajwal Parajuly, Thomas Bell, Ma Thida, Salil Tripathi, Catherine Anderson, and Indira Goswami, it attempts to describe the sense of shared lives and cultural connectivity between the denizens of this area. Poetry, fiction, and mysticism are juxtaposed with essays on strategy and diplomacy, espionage and the deep state, photographs, folk tales, and fables.
Zakir Hussain: A Life in Music
In conversation with Nasreen Munni Kabir, the book will take the reader through the life and times of Zakir Hussain, the early years of growing up in Mahim, his training from age four with his extraordinary father, and how his passion for music helped establish him as a world musician of our age, a huge music star, and for many young Indians today a revered role model.
Through her many avatars (the outspoken appearance on Bigg Boss; the caustic, intimate weekly columnist and, most famously, the founder of the hugely successful salon Mad-o-Wot), the irrepressible Sapna Bhavnani has assumed poster-child status as a powerful female figure. Chapter One is her story – the story of losing her father, surviving rape and domestic abuse, shattering stereotypes and emerging stronger than ever.
The McMahon Line
Sir Henry McMahon, a British colonial administrator, drew a line along the Himalayas at the Simla Convention of 1913-14, demarcating what would in later years become the effective boundary between China and India. The boundary, disputed by India’s northern neighbour, has had a profound effect on the relations between the two Asian giants. General JJ Singh – former Indian Army chief and the Governor of Arunachal Pradesh – brings his long years of experience to bear on Sino-Indian relations in The McMahon Line.