She may have led a very short life, dying at the age of 42. But, Jane Austen’s charm is not lost on us yet, even 200 years after her death. Jane Austen is still relevant today. Look at the bookshelf of a seasoned book lover and you will find an Austen for sure. Her novels are still in print. Her characters are still alive. We still have sequels to her popular books. Not to mention, the numerous movies and sitcoms that take inspiration from her plots.
We look at a few reasons why Jane Austen is still relevant today. As you scroll and read, we’ve also got links to some curated Austen souvenirs, books and boxed sets that would make any booklover’s day!
Maneuvering business of marriage
Yes, it is the age of Tinder and online dating. But, courtship and marriage is very much a part of the game. All of Jane Austen’s novels have love and marriage as prominent themes. All these concepts resonate with us today- the role of social class in fixing a ‘match’, issues of mental compatibility, marrying for ‘practical’ reasons, gender roles and discrimination in marriage.
Modernity of thoughts
Jane Austen wrote in an era where norms and thoughts of the time were quite orthodox. However, her characters had a certain modernity to them. Elizabeth Bennet is perhaps the best example. Her hero-heroine relationships, specifically the main ones, are based on the very modern notions of equality of genders. The heroes respect the women for who they are, and the heroines refuse to bow down to mores of the times. They have their own mind and are not afraid to speak it. This echoes with a modern audience as well.
Jane Austen’s books are set in a limited geographical and cultural boundary- Regency England. Still, even within this narrow canvas she provides us with layers of psychological complexity in her characters. Values may change over time, but human beings essentially remain the same. They are still complex and difficult to understand! Her deep insight into human character makes the stories evergreen!
The plots of Austen novels are classic and timeless. The characters, the setting as well as the overall narrative is something that transcends time and geographical boundaries. Movie makers have thus adapted her story lines to come out with movies and television series that either stay true to the original, or follow the plotline but allow for the change and evolution of society. Either way it works. The same goes for books as well.
So, how can one really sum up in a single line why Jane Austen is still relevant today? The answer is, while the rules have changed…the game still remains the same!
Not many books look at the Indian banking system from a multiple lens. From Lehman to Demonetization by Tamal Bandyopadhyay is an attempt to chronicle the tumultuous financial period between two very significant events – the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008, and the demonetization exercise in India in 2016. These events were crucial in their own right. The Lehman Brothers collapse led to a series of chain reactions that affected economies world over. Demonetization has also dominated most of the talk since the past year.
The book chronicles issues that have dominated these years, especially in context of Indian banking system. Quite expectedly, the author has given due coverage to exploring the rise in the debt of Indian banks.
“Some public sector banks have been driving down the slow lane to death, loaded with bad assets. Many of the loans that had been restructured following the Lehman collapse continued to haunt them but they were in a denial mode till Rajan drove the first-of-its-kind asset quality review(AQR) for these banks. When it came to exposing their bad loans, they had been doing a belly dance but the AQR forced them to do a striptease”
It also looks at other issues that plague the banking sector in India. At the same time, it studies the positive aspects of the Indian banking industry that shielded Indian economy from the Lehman crash. Right from the relative orthodoxy and conservative approach of the RBI, to the times when one could say that the RBI has become ‘more adventurous’, the book chronicles all.
Essays the way
Tamal has handpicked the essays in the book from his database of about 600 well researched stories that have appeared primarily in Mint, the popular business weekly, over the last decade. One of the advantages of this is that each story is crisp and comprehensive. Since these were published stories intended for the general reader, the language is simple and jargon free.
The benefits of hindsight
Tamal’s curatorial eye has looked at his decade long analysis and got it all together. The articles have a very analytical flavour and each group of articles is tied by a comprehensive introduction.
The second part of the book has essays and interviews of key individuals, men and women, who have played a role in the world of Indian finance and banking. The list includes regulators, commercial bankers, professionals, entrepreneurs, investment bankers and so on. Some of the names featured here are Deepak Parekh, K.V.Kamath, Arundhati Bhattacharya, Chanda Kocchar, Aditya Puri, Shikha Sharma, Raghuram Rajan, U.K.Sinha and Viral Acharya, amongst others.
While a book that talks about the complexities and the myriad issues of the finance and banking system could be labelled as a concentrated read, this one is quite accessible to readers.
Based on his intense research and writing over the past decade Tamal uses the information in the book or turn soothsayer and also predict the scenario after a decade, which should also be quite interesting for readers.
By 2025, at least a few banks will consider themselves as technology companies and feel tempted to say, ‘We also do banking’.
Tamal recognises the aspect of diversity and polarisation in India and how this will play out in banking.
The challenge before us is to merge India and Bharat on the banking turf. Yes, only technology can achieve that, but it is too ambitious to expect that to happen by 2025.
The reader need not go through the entire book in a set order. He or she can refer to sections and aspects that they have specific interest in. It would be of interest to students and professionals, to get a picture of Indian economy and the Indian banking system from 2008 to 2016, against the backdrop of a challenging and changing global context.
In all, the book gives a detailed and deeply analytical picture of the analysis of the Indian banking system and a decade in banking that was very important worldwide.
From Lehman to Demonetization by Tamal Bandyopadhyay, 2017
Media lavishes much attention on those who have started and helmed successful business ventures. On the other end of the spectrum it also focuses on new and promising start-up founders who will hopefully steer their companies to glorious heights. The Consolidators by Prince Mathews Thomas talks to a unique group- the second generation entrepreneurs who have consolidated their family businesses and taken it to newer heights.
The Consolidators uses storytelling to show that being a second generation entrepreneur in the family business comes with its own set of challenges. Popular media may not glorify this group as much. However, as these case studies show, carrying a legacy on your shoulders and negotiating a challenging business scenario is no cakewalk.
While the author acknowledges that first time entrepreneurs deserve to be applauded, he points out why second generation entrepreneurs who then take that business forward are very important too. He says about this faction, “they might be born with a silver spoon, but they had to make sure they didn’t lose it”.
There are important lessons to be learnt from success stories of second generation entrepreneurs in family businesses. These lessons are interwoven in the stories described in the book.
The major theme that emerges here is that of scalability. In order to take the family business to dizzying heights, these second generation entrepreneurs have had the vision of scalability and the boldness to go in that direction. Reading these stories makes one aware of the precarious balance between security and opportunity that these entrepreneurs have successfully navigated.
The Consolidators presents seven case studies. However, what makes these compelling to read is that they are all written in form of stories. This is where Thomas’s skill as a storyteller truly shines forth. There are moments when one feels the tension and uncertainty of the businessman on the verge of turning around his father’s business or taking a risk with the clear awareness that if things went wrong there was no looking back. At the same time the reader can sense the exhilaration of a project well executed.
At the end of each story there are some bulleted lists of learnings. However, since each story is different there are some unique themes that emerge. On reading about Ajay Bijli and how he turned a simple family owned local cinema into PVR, one of India’s largest multiplex cinema chain, one gets the sense of how scalability can completely redefine a business. Abhishek Khaitan’s tale illustrates how the confluence of old and new views and the balance between legacy and new thoughts add on to direct a company into the future.
Mithun Chittilappilly’s story talks of how the second generation entrepreneur got in professionalism and new thoughts and systems in an old established business to expand it in an ever changing world. T.S. Kalyanaraman’s story again shows how a continuous penchant for risk taking pays off.
The case of Rituraj Sinha illustrates how a young entrepreneur can incorporate new thoughts and practices, with support and confidence of old employees. Vikas Oberoi illustrates how dreaming big creates wonders. Priya Paul took on the reins of the family business in midst of great personal tragedy, but emerged victorious and turned things around. Hers’ is a story of grit and determination.
The author also weaves into the narrative, instances and examples of how parent-child interactions ( father-son in all these cases except one, that of Priya Paul) during childhood or certain childhood experiences have worked towards building the outlook and personalities of these entrepreneurs. Yes, there is an element of childhood influences creeping in. Even as children, what they absorbed about the workings and culture of the business seems to have influenced them, and continues to do so.
The Consolidators touches upon a specific aspect of entrepreneurship. It talks about the role of second generation entrepreneurs set in the context of modern India. It will offer useful insights on the dynamics of family business from two points of view – the first and the second generation entrepreneur.
The Consolidators by Prince Mathews Thomas
Published by Penguin Random House, 2017
The book, as the name suggests, has 101 Haiku verses, carefully curated by the poet from his works. This is Raheja’s first attempt at Haiku, but his mastery over the form is quite apparent. Most of his poetry comes to him like a spontaneous burst of thought; flashes at unexpected times of the day and night, which can be lost if he does not record it at that moment. This explains why the words sound so natural and strike a chord in the reader’s heart.
Nature is undoubtedly one of the important themes around which he weaves his words. It is not only the beauty of nature that comes through, but also an innate wisdom that emanates through the lines. Mountains, seasons, fauna, animals, water bodies, islands, celestial bodies and hills and valleys- all these varied parts of nature find place in the Haiku.
Two of my favourite examples from the book…
A tree drops a leaf
Silently in a forest-
Trees don’t grieve lost leaves
Another Haiku I found particularly poignant…
Clouds empty themselves
Into seas pregnant with hope
One empties one fills
While the theme of nature is definitely important, Raheja uses the Haiku as a vehicle to comment on the current times, drawing upon themes that we all can identify with.
Take for example, the following:
Goldfish in a bowl
Opened a Facebook account
She loves the spotlight
These simple lines show so much- how social media platforms act as equalisers for expression irrespective of whether you are shy or outgoing in real life.
Some of the themes also deal with the journey of life.
take the road and find yourself….
it leads nowhere
and the following lines that echo a much-felt feeling…
I realised this
wasn’t where I wanted to be
when the road ended
Words which appear simple to understand are actually quite full of insight and meaning. The beautiful words have equally lovely illustrations to go with them. It is a book that you must read and re-read.
101 Haiku by Dinesh Raheja
Published by Om Books International
Navigating the complex world of start-ups requires a very different set of skills. Who would be more acquainted with this skill-set than those who have been there… done that? Shradha Sharma, Founder and CEO of YourStory, a popular media-tech platform and T.N. Hari, adviser and mentor to numerous young entrepreneurs and start-ups, get together to provide a unique insight into the world of start-ups in the book Cut the Crap and Jargon: Lessons from the Start-up Trenches, published by Penguin.
A key aspect makes the book different from other books on management- it recognizes that sometimes hindsight analysis cannot give all solutions to prevent problems. Most books on management analyse big business giants who have either succeeded or failed. They then draw conclusions and generalise these. However, here the authors have followed a different approach. They question if such a strategy is actually useful for start-ups who have a completely different set of problems. Here is where the book actually scores.
It dives into the world of start-ups and looks for the smaller mistakes or smaller decisions that go on to have a larger impact in the journey of the start-up. This is what makes this specific book relevant for start-ups. The book caters to a global audience but there is also specific information tailored to the Indian scenario.
There are several assumptions that the book makes which works well in its handling of issues related to start-ups. For instance, the requirements of agility, necessity to pivot in some cases, constant work on a shoestring budget and so on.
For all of us interested in start-ups, the mad rush for funding and the sheer hype surrounding the funding scenario can be quite difficult to understand. One of the interesting chapters, The Funding Craze takes an unbiased look at this so called circus of funding and presents an informed picture of the scenario.
The insights on bootstrapping versus external funding are also very relevant. The book devotes substantial space to understanding the dynamics of funding and valuation of start-ups, often taking a dig at the hypes created in the process. It gives a realistic portrayal of the scenario in India as well as helpful tips to understanding this aspect.
A lot of examples make the reading very relatable. The authors use famous start-ups as examples to illustrate the case they make at different points in the book. The information is presented in a variety of ways- interviews with an expert in a particular domain, as a case study or simple narrative with examples aplenty. This makes it easier for the reader to navigate through.
Having the right team is most crucial for a start-up. The book provides an understanding into the process of hiring, leadership, communication with team members, giving feedback and well, even firing! Right from hiring correctly, scaling up after starting up, the changing role of founders as the organisation grows and key habits that entrepreneurs need to have, Cut the Crap and Jargon: Lessons from the Start-up trenches, is a guide those who are involved with start-ups.
Cut the Crap and Jargon: Lessons from the Start-up Trenches
Penguin Random House India (1 October 2017)
Soul Warrior is the first book in the trilogy, The Age of Kali, a mythical fantasy fiction series by New York based novelist Falguni Kothari. Soul Warrior, published by Om Books International, draws from the rich character base and events from the Mahabharata, but presents them in a completely refreshed format (Quite literally since they all enter the 21st century!). There is the fictional law-governed Cosmos made up of heavenly, demonic and human realms and its protagonist, Lord Karna, the legendary guardian of the Human Realm, is coerced into training six godlings into demon hunters against a rising demon army.
There is a struggle between the Light and Dark forces of the Cosmos, and also the inherent question- how exactly do you know who are the light forces and which ones are the dark? Then there is the race to control the one soul capable of total cosmic annihilation- demi-god Karna’s and Draupadi’s secret child!
I wanted Karna and Draupadi to have a happily ever after, or some version of it. Karna is the quintessential tragic hero, the man who was wronged for possibly every moment of his life and yet he was generous and honorable in his dealings – well, honorable in most cases except in Draupadi’s, especially during the vastra haran. Despite that dishonorable act, Karna comes across as sympathetic and deserves an eternity of happiness. As you can tell, I am a little bit biased toward him.
Having also read mythological adaptations such as the Palace of Illusions and Jaya and Yuganta, and Mrytyanjaya etc, I felt justified, surprised and confident about writing an adaptation of Karna and Draupadi’s stories.
I’ve lived with Mahabharata all my life. Growing up in Mumbai, surrounded by our myths and legends, immersed in our culture, I’ve always questioned the meaning, the motivations of all the characters. I’ve always looked at the stories from different angles. I grew up listening to these myths and legends from my grandmother and her malishwalibai. And only later, when I was in middle school did I realize they’d told me the unconventional versions—the feminist versions, the versions where the women had a voice, even the center stage! In their versions, the women were equal protagonists and fate-changers as the men. It was only later, after I grew up, did I truly appreciate this unique female-driven point of view, which I hope I’ve managed to weave in through Soul Warrior.
I’m glad you find the concept interesting. Well, from the moment I started writing this story or even before…when I was thinking of using myths as the platform for a story, I was very clear about not wanting to simply retell the myth with a twist or two. The Mahabharata has been retold, revisited so many times, that one more version of it didn’t appeal to me.
One of the questions I repeatedly asked as a child was, “If they are all up there in Devlok right now, what exactly are they doing there?” This series is an attempt to answer that question!
Not at all. It happens almost unconsciously for me. I’m humorous and philosophical in parts on a daily basis. Having said that, I did choose to tell the story in terms of a comic book. I think it would make a great comic book, right?
My contract with OM Books is for a trilogy.
For Indians, mythology is their backyard. They’ve played with these stories, grown up surrounded by them, the gods and the goddesses, the key players of the myths, even the demons have become their invisible friends, maybe even their family members. Mythology is at once fun and entertaining, and a serious life lesson for Indians. It’s simply a part of our lives. This genre is our comfort zone because we recognize it, and identify with it. That’s what’s so appealing about this genre.
I’d say I have a 50/50 readership between US and India. While Indians do connect with this story on a visceral level, my readers in the USA are equally fascinated by it. Karna appeals to everyone. That’s his superpower. Of course, the readers unfamiliar with the Mahabharata or Indian mythology lose out on so many nuances that Indian readers treasure. I usually tell them to think of Karna as the Indian Achilles.
Plenty. Indian readers are super excited that I’ve brought the Gods into the 21st Century. While non-Indian readers have thanked me for introducing them to this whole other mythology that they never knew existed. I’ve had readers Google Karna, Draupadi, the Mahabharata and email me about their findings. It’s amazing how much joy a story can bring into our lives!
Soul Warrior by Falguni Kothari
Publisher: Om Books International (July 2017)
As children, all of us have indulged in colouring activities. Well, growing up and colouring books apparently did not go well together for many years, until recently when the market saw a surge in colouring books for adults. Suddenly a whole new world opened up. Adults found the therapeutic benefits of simple colour pencils and intricate drawings. Gods and Goddesses of India by Kanika Gupta adds to this exciting world of colouring books for adults.
Bangalore based illustrator, Kanika Gupta, has explored a very novel idea in the genre of colouring books for adults. This eye-catching therapeutic colouring book – Gods and Goddesses of India, captures the essence of deities worshipped in Hindu mythology.
Kanika Gupta’s expertise in doodling and detailing simply adds on to its beauty. Rest assured, getting your hands on this creative piece won’t just give you an insight into the oldest religion of the world, but the vibrant colours and mesmerizing patterns will help you connect with your divine self!
Detailing is my addiction! I can’t stop once I start drawing, so that’s a style that I have developed. The process was tricky, as it’s a little sensitive to go all imaginative with the Gods. I felt a little restricted at the same time. However, here there are no limitations as well. These Gods have 100 hands, 10 heads and so on, which makes drawing them a fun process! The process was first to shortlist the Gods, as there are so many and each is very interesting. I found shortlisting them the most challenging thing!
Hence, I took to a sequence, with Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. With Vishnu, I made the ‘Dashavtar’. Along with these three Gods were the corresponding Goddesses. I ended with Hanuman as he is said to be immortal, sort of depicting that creativity doesn’t die.
With a couple of references, I drew basic skeleton figures. Once stratified, the inking starts which gets tough to control. I had to tell myself stop the detailing and make it a little simpler for colouring!
I have always seen my mom write “Ram” as part of her meditation practice. This made me think: Why not do a colouring book on this theme? If you can write the Gods name, why can’t you colour his forms?
It’s nice to know a little about what you colouring!
They definitely heal a certain part in you. I run a colouring club on Sunday in a blissful park in Bangalore. people who come to colour there definately feel at ease and relaxed. You are so engrossed in making something beautiful , you are one pointed ..that is mediation
It’s sort of a compliment and a feedback- many have said the book is so pretty that we don’t feel like colouring it and spoiling it! What touched me was that an old client of mine has ordered books for her mother who is 70+ and her friends, and they have been colouring diligently with all the details!
I guess it’s the need. Anything that destresses is popular as in today’s world everyone is so stressed. A lot of people have been focusing on physical health which is good. But now, they do realize its time to give some attention to your mental health as well!
This colouring book for adults is Kanika Gupta’s second colouring book. Well, it’s never too late to experience the healing and creatively motivating effects of colouring.
Gods and Goddesses of India by Kanika Gupta
Published by Bloomsbury
For those of you who are familiar with this very famous form of artistic expression, this is certainly a book you should pick up and read. Those of you, who are also fans of art or artists, should definitely read this soul searching book, which is itself a work of art. B.A. Shapiro has merged the tale of the evolving of Abstract Expressionism, with the tale of Alizée Benoit, whose family is stuck in France due to problem of getting visas to America. They want to flee France, their homeland, because they are Jews, and believe that Hitler will take over France. The family of Alizée Benoit, flees France with a impressive number of other Jewish refugees, most of them innocent children, on the ship SS St. Louis, to Cuba and from there to the USA. However, once the ship reaches the shores of America, they are not allowed to dock, and are literally and metaphorically turned back to Europe, to their death, or as Alfred Lord Tennyson would put it, into the Valley of Death. This happened, because the US President and his Assistant Secretary of State Long, felt that that their applications for visas were not acceptable. They did not wish to take on the responsibility of housing refugees, especially Jewish refugees, for they wanted no part of the war in Europe, they did not trust the refugees, and lastly, they were most concerned that these refugees would take up all the jobs in the US, which rightfully belonged to the American citizens. (Now, where have I heard that before???)
The story, which is gripping and intense, gives us a glimpse of the USA of the late 1930s and early 1940s, as well as the story of Danielle in 2015, who is trying ways and means to find out what happened to her family, the Benoit’s, during World War II, and how Alizée Benoit had a major role to play in Abstract Expressionism of the ‘30s and ’40s. The novel is racy but a tearjerker in parts. The characters are more than real, and the plot is tight with no loop holes.
The Muralist by B. A. Shapiro, speaks to the readers soul, and shows us that at times, we are, or find ourselves, so helpless to save our loved ones, that even something as small as a painting or a mural is used to tell the deaf, mute, and blind world, about pain, grief, and death — meaningless death. Alizée is a very strong character in this novel, and for those readers who love strong female characters in their books, this is the book for you.
I am an Indian, born in the late ‘80s, so I am technically not so familiar with contemporary World War II and American History, and the heroes and villains of this part of history. Nevertheless, B. A. Shapiro’s explanation in the form of a fiction novel is so easy to comprehend, that I began to appreciate many people I came across in this book, especially people like Varian Fry and Eleanor Roosevelt.
You must read this book as soul tonic. Watch out for Shapiro’s depiction of Eleanor Roosevelt, as you are definitely going to love it. It goes without saying, that if you as a reader are interested in a different and unique novel, which is part non-fiction, set in the time of World War II, then this is a book you should read.
For those of you who have been and are being persecuted for your beliefs, beliefs which do not harm anyone, then this book is soul curry for you, to know that you are not alone. The Muralist is evocative and mesmerizing. The book poses a lot of questions to us, questions that are uncomfortable and need to be answered, questions about morals and ethics versus politics and selfishness. One question cut me to the core: Do innocent refugee children, who have come to seek shelter in your country, look like political spies to you? I had to cry, because I am proud of my country, India, who is definitely like a Mother, for she accepts everyone who comes to her for help. There is a saying in India, that you will find a duplicate of everything, except a duplicate of Mother India. We have given shelter over the ages, and over centuries, to Jews, Christians, Muslims, Zoroastrians, Buddhists, etc., and now they are as much a part of India, as the original Harappan people were. I am proud of my country — Are you?
All these questions can be answered in The Muralist, through its characters, and history and art behind its evolution into a work of perfection. Though I have read a number of books, both fiction and non-fiction, about the Holocaust and World War II, this was the only one to bring a lump to my throat, as it dealt with something that is part of the horrible present. Alizée, Henri, Danielle, Babette, and others, come alive to you through the pen of the master literary artist B. A. Shapiro. It questions, it entertains, and it paints — most importantly, it paints.
The Muralist is a must read for everyone, but especially for those writers, artists, poets, journalists, etc., who are being persecuted for expressing their right – their right to freedom of expression. I loved this book. Buy it. NOW!
This story first appeared on www.insaneowl.com
All those of us who love Ruskin Bond know one thing for sure- nature is omnipresent in all his works. His books, short stories, musings and non-fiction features all exude an inherent love for nature. Words From The Hills captures the essence of a lifetime of great writing, and crystallizes it into few interspersed sentences. These appear on the exquisitely illustrated pages of this journal.
What immediately entices the reader are the lyrical watercolour paintings and illustrations by Ahlawat Gunjan that appear throughout this journal. Again centred around the theme of nature, they are mesmerizing to say the least. The falling of leaves from deodar trees, moments of love and loss, beautiful flowers, gentle skies, few isolated objects and shapes, buzzing dragonflies, stained and torn pages of forgotten notebooks…these are just some of the multifarious pictures that you will see in the journal. Amidst these images are simple but deeply meaningful lines and musings from Bond- in true Bond-style! Words From The Hills consists of many blank lined pages for the reader to fill in.
Prolific is a term that describes Ruskin Bond well. He has written over 500 short stories and articles. He received the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1992, the Padma Shri in 1999 and the Padma Bhushan in 2014. He just celebrated his 83rd birthday this May and still has something exceptional to offer each time!
Developed around the life, works and philosophy of Ruskin Bond, Words From The Hills is one collector’s piece you cannot miss!
Words From The Hills by Ruskin Bond
Illustrated by Ahlawat Gunjan
Published by Penguin Random House India, 2017.
Salman Rushdie’s latest novel was a much awaited one. The Golden House is about Nero Golden and his three sons who escape a secret past in an unnamed city, later revealed to be ‘Bombay’, and occupy a mansion, the Golden House, in New York. The story follows their lives as they try to come to terms with their past. The initial chapters all build up a kind of suspense as to what exactly have they escaped from, which of course emerges as the story flows.
Are they able to really start afresh or do the ghosts of the past continue to haunt them? How does life play out for them? Central to the story is the narrator, René Unterlinden, a young upcoming filmmaker who finds his muse in the Golden family. He sees in them and their mysterious lives, ‘scoop’ for a story. However, he is quite deftly drawn into the very tale he narrates and he becomes an inseparable part of it. The narrator who starts off as a passive observer, thus grows to be a key character himself.
Rene is a filmmaker in the novel and Rushdie cleverly uses this fact to experiment with storytelling. There are sections that break into screenplay format. The uncensored honesty and hints of irreverence add to the pleasure of reading.
When it comes to Rushdie’s fiction we can’t always separate the personal and the political. The political material is there, though played out in a sense as the background. His characters are not isolated individuals whose lives play out independently of what is happening in the world. In fact, their lives are intricately connected to the social and political realities of the time.
The Golden House starts with the election of Barack Obama. It ends eight years later on the eve of an election in which the lead contender refers to himself as “the Joker”. The issues of “identity” that find expression in today’s times also find a central place in the key characters. Identity issues is one of the big themes of this novel. It thus touches upon modern existential crisis.
Though India, and more specifically Mumbai is central to the novel, it is New York which is at the core. In that sense, one could say that The Golden House is the grand New York novel of our times!
Published by Penguin Random House India, 2017