As the sun beats down and the heat of summer reaches its peak, the prospect of outdoor activities can seem less and less appealing. But fear not, for there is no better time to dive into the world of literature and indulge in the joy of reading.

With an abundance of options available in the form of books, audiobooks, and ebooks, it can be overwhelming to choose where to start. However, we have made the task easier for you by presenting the latest releases in Indian Literary Fiction – May 2023.

These enchanting tales are sure to captivate your imagination and transport you to a world of literary adventure.

So, without further ado, indulge in these tempting reads and let the stories within their pages take you on a journey you won’t soon forget.

Latest releases in Indian Literary Fiction – May 2023

1. Afternoon by Nidhi Dalmia

Afternoon is a tale that unfolds in the late 1960s across the San Francisco Bay Area, New York, Kashmir, and Delhi, against the backdrop of significant cultural, student, sexual, and intellectual revolutions of that era.

At its core, it is the story of a young student who discovers his soulmate and of two young women whose paths cross with him at different points in time.

One of these women is a Kashmiri Muslim girl who grew up in Delhi, carrying with her memories and impressions of her home state. The other is an American Field Service worker from Upper East Side New York, whose short field visit to India takes an unexpected turn, affirming her decision to attend Berkeley instead of the Seven Sisters.

The spectre of the Cold War mentality still looms large over America and the USSR, with conscription and the highly unpopular Vietnam War raging on. The Berkeley Establishment and other centers of power in California remain determined to crush the idealistic student movements.

As these relationships unfold, they face threats from various external factors and events, including the complexities of inter-continental relationships.

Through it all, the story explores the power of love and the choices we make, and how factors beyond our control can shape our lives. Afternoon is a poignant reflection of the human experience.


2. The Covenant of Water by Abraham Verghese

Abraham Verghese, the acclaimed author of Cutting for Stone, has finally released his long-awaited novel, The Covenant of Water. The story spans from 1900 to 1977 and is set in Kerala, on the Malabar Coast of South India.

The novel traces the lives of a family across three generations, each of whom is plagued by a strange curse that ensures that at least one member dies from drowning. In the land of Kerala, where water is ubiquitous, this eerie affliction holds an even more haunting presence.

The family is part of a Christian community that dates back to the time of the apostles. But as times change, so does the world around them. The matriarch of the family, known as Big Ammachi (or “Big Mother”), lives an extraordinary life and witnesses unthinkable changes at home and in the world at large.

The Covenant of Water showcases Verghese’s exceptional talent, including his ability to describe astonishing scenes of medical ingenuity, moments of humour, deeply moving stories, and characters that exude the essence of life.

This book is a radiant portrayal of a vanished epoch in India, honouring the flow of time. It is an ode to the advancements achieved in medical science and human comprehension, while also serving as a humbling testimony to the struggles and difficulties endured by our ancestors for the betterment of our current lives.

The Covenant of Water is a masterpiece in contemporary literary fiction, and a must-read for fans of Verghese and those who appreciate exceptional storytelling.

3. Sahela Re by Mrinal Pande

As Vidya, a distinguished music connoisseur, sets out to pen the history of Hindustani classical music, she unearths the vestiges of a vanishing epoch and culture. A time when vocalists personified ragas in their truest essence and benefactors were ardent adherents, not just simple disciples.

Through intriguing anecdotes, correspondence, legend, and rumors, the lives of the artists are brought to light, showcasing their highs and lows as they loved and lost and progressed from mehfils to gramophones. The reader also glimpses the passion music inspired in the lives of its connoisseurs.

As we traverse through the vibrant cities of Benares, Calcutta, Bombay, and New York, we are introduced to illustrious musicians and performers, including the legendary Hira Bai, and Anjali Bai, who are not only revered for their mellifluous voices but also admired for their intellect.

We also encounter gifted singers like Allarakkhi Bi and Husna Bai, whose contributions to the world of classical music are undeniable.

Their heirs, who are striving to keep the legacy of traditional music alive, are also presented to us, as they attempt to share the essence of this art form with the new generation of listeners, even in far-off lands.

Sahela Re by Mrinal Pande is a heartfelt tribute to a time when music was considered sacred. The translation by Priyanka Sarkar is expertly done, and it will linger in your memory like an unforgettable melody.

4. The Gold Collection by Ruskin Bond

The ten stories contained within The Gold Collection are truly a marvel to behold, written by none other than India’s most cherished author, Ruskin Bond.

Among them are several masterpieces, including the iconic tales of ‘The Blue Umbrella’, ‘Angry River’, and ‘Panther’s Moon’, all of which were penned early on in Bond’s illustrious career. Meanwhile, newer works such as ‘Rhododendrons in the Mist’ and ‘Miracle at Happy Bazaar’ are also included, each one shining as brightly as the last, having emerged from the writer’s fertile imagination.

This is a collection of unparalleled beauty, sure to be cherished by all those who have come to adore Ruskin Bond’s work. Within its pages, one can truly witness the timeless quality of Bond’s storytelling, each tale a golden thread woven into the rich tapestry of his oeuvre.

In conclusion, the latest Indian literary fiction releases of this month offer a diverse range of genres and themes to explore. Whether you’re looking to escape into a fictional world or gain new insights into the human experience, these books are sure to provide an enriching and satisfying reading experience.

So, pick up one or all of these Latest releases in Indian Literary Fiction – May 2023, settle into your favourite reading nook, and let the stories transport you to a world of imagination and wonder. Happy reading!

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