Over one and a half billion people live in South Asia in the countries of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, and Sri Lanka - forty percent of the people of Asia on ten percent of the Asian landmass. This bustling subcontinent is home to ancient cultures and cutting edge technology. The cultural and geographic melange that is South Asia flavors these novels like the spices in a good curry.
Commander Joe Sandilands, a Scotland Yarder completing a stint with the Bengal Police, is on his way back home when the provincial governor asks him to look into the recent death-by-suicide of an army officer's young wife. Nancy Drummond, a close friend of the dead woman, reveals that four other officers wives have also died apparently by accident or misadventure over a period of 12 years, all in the month of March.
"An enchanting historical epic of grand passion and adventure, this debut novel tells the captivating story of one of India's most controversial empresses -- a woman whose brilliance and determination trumped myriad obstacles, and whose love shaped the course of the Mughal Empire. Skillfully blending the textures of historical reality with the rich and sensual imaginings of a timeless fairy tale, The Twentieth Wife sweeps readers up in Mehrunnisa's embattled love with Prince Salim, and in the bedazzling destiny of a woman -- a legend in her own time -- who was all but lost to history until now."
In piecing together her ancestor's transformation from a docile Bengali Brahmin girl-child into an impassioned organizer of resistance against the British Raj, the contemporary narrator discovers and lays claim to unacknowledged elements in her "American" identity.
"In his first novel since The Satanic Verses, Rushdie gives readers a masterpiece of controlled storytelling, informed by astonishing scope and ambition, by turns compassionate, wicked, poignant, and funny. From the paradise of Aurora's legendary salon to his omnipotent father's sky-garden atop a towering glass high-rise, the Moor's story evokes his family's often grotesque but compulsively moving fortunes in a world of possibilities embodied by India in this century."
The first volume in Paul Scott's historical tour-de-force, the Raj Quartet, opens in 1942 as the British fear both Japanese invasion and Indian demands for self-rule. In the Mayapore gardens, Daphne Manners, daughter of the provincial governor, leaves her Indian lover, who will soon be arrested for her alleged rape.
"Fathered, through circuitous circumstances, by an Englishman, Pran Nath Razdan, the boy who will become the Impressionist, was passed off by his Indian mother as the child of her husband, a wealthy man of high caste. Growing up spoiled in a life of luxury just down river from the Taj Mahal, at fifteen the news of Pran's true parentage is revealed to his father and he is tossed out into the street--a pariah and an outcast. Thus begins an extraordinary, near-mythical journey of a young man who must reinvent himself to survive--not once, but many times."
"Compared favorably to the works of Faulkner and Dickens, Arundhati Roy’s debut novel is a modern classic that has been read and loved worldwide. Equal parts powerful family saga, forbidden love story, and piercing political drama, it is the story of an affluent Indian family forever changed by one fateful day in 1969. The seven-year-old twins Estha and Rahel see their world shaken irrevokably by the arrival of their beautiful young cousin, Sophie. It is an event that will lead to an illicit liaison and tragedies accidental and intentional, exposing 'big things [that] lurk unsaid' in a country drifting dangerously toward unrest. Lush, lyrical, and unnerving, The God of Small Things is an award-winning landmark that started for its author an esteemed career of fiction and political commentary that continues unabated."
This novel was inspired by a true story where the victim became a villain and the killer became a hero, offers a rare and fascinating insight into the psychosexual undercurrents of Indian life. The reverberations from the notorious Nanavati society murder in 1950s Bombay -- the fatal consequence of an affair between an Indian playboy and his married English lover -- were so great that they reached the offices of Prime Minister Nehru and changed the face of the Indian justice system irrevocably. What is not known -- has never been known -- is that a second, connected crime, so cruel that it destroyed the lives of two women, went unreported and has remained unpunished. Until now.
By Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
Anju is the daughter of an upper-caste Calcutta family of distinction. Sudha is the daughter of the black sheep of that same family. Sudha is startlingly beautiful; Anju is not. Despite these differences, since the day the two girls were born--the same day their fathers died, mysteriously and violently--Sudha and Anju have been sisters of the heart. Bonded in ways even their mothers cannot comprehend, the two girls grow into womanhood as if their fates, as well as their hearts, are merged. When Sudha learns a dark family secret, that connection is threatened.
"A young man named Henry sits down with his grandmother, a genial lady still called Baby by everyone, in her Manhattan townhouse where he has lived all his life, to record the history of a spiritual movement that has woven itself into the fabric of their family's lives for four generations.
"What unfolds is a mesmerizing family saga: the imperious great-grandmother Elsa and her husband, an Indian poet, whose marriage is as unconventional as the movement they help to found; Baby, their cheerfully pragmatic daughter, married to the aloof English diplomat Graeme; bemused and brooding Renata, Baby and Graeme's daughter, married to an idle dreamer; and finally Henry, Renata's son, who in many ways bears the legacy of all that has gone before. Their lives--and that of the movement's elusive yet ineluctable founder, known only as the Master--intertwine, diverge, and collide with each other in a masterfully orchestrated story spanning the twentieth century and several continents."