Patna Blues, by Abdullah Khan.
I finally read it, after planning to do so for a long while. I am so glad I read it. Grounded, real, moving, heartbreaking . Looking forward to his upcoming work.
Diwali in Muzaffarnagar by Tanuj Solanki
I first read his story 'My Friend Daanish' on a Facebook link, and was hooked. Till a few years ago I was blissfully unaware of the extent of communal disharmony in Muzaffarnagar, but knowing about it made it compelling to learn more. Tanuj Solanki has an insider's perspective. All of the stories in this collection provoke much thought. Some are searing. His perspectives are uniquely humane, and he writes with an intimacy that draws you into his characters' lives.
I also read his new novel, The Machine is Learning, which deals with very fundamental ethical issues within a corporation, and the lives that they impact. Looking forward to more from this brilliant young man.
A close look at a family's life in Alipura, in Bundelkhand. Dealing with poverty, academic failure, rowdyism, godmen, the apparently endless oppression of women, love across caste lines, a match making uncle, his four nephews and niece, (the children of his widowed sister, an amazing character in her own right), it is a richly compelling, rollicking read. Written with great humour, (and a vast array of cuss words, decently camouflaged) it holds you completely in thrall. Brilliantly translated from the Hindi by Salim Yusufji.
These books are my most recent reads. Other delightful ones are buried in my memory, and might be resurrected some day.