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Books this weekend: Pulitzer winner, some shortlisted novels

Nitasha Kaul, author of Residue.

Reckless voices and poetic verses won a book the Pulitzer prize this year and other fictional tales made the longlisted and shortlisted list of several book awards: Our bookshelf this weekend has the magic of imaginative richness. Take your pick.

1. Book: Three Sections: Poet: Vijay Seshadri; Publisher: Harper Collins; Pages: 68

In an array of poetic forms from the rhyming lyric to the philosophical meditation to the prose essay, this Pulitzer winner confronts perplexing divisions of contemporary life – a wayward division of contemporary life – a wayward history, an indeterminate future and a present condition of wanting to out-think time.

2. Book: Residue; Author: Nitasha Kaul; Publisher: Rainlight; Pages: 324

Named for the revolutionary Trotsky by a missing communist father he never saw, Leon Ali is a Kashmiri born in Britain and brought up by a single mother in Delhi. Keya Raina is a Kashmiri scholar in exile, an insecure immigrant who collects other people’s stories. Marked by the oppressive history of Kashmir, they meet in Berlin, the city of Cold War partitions, and begin a journey of discovery which reveals to them the story of Shula Farid, the bohemian wife of a staid Bengali diplomat.

Through their travels, the two young Kashmiris outside Kashmir find startling truths about themselves in the midst of unwitting identities and multiple belongings the residue of shared human emotions. This book was shortlisted for the Man Asian Literary Prize.

3. Book: On Sal Mal Lane; Author: Ru Freeman; Publisher: Penguin; Pages: 388

Sri Lanka, 1979. The Herath family has just moved to Sal Mal Lane, a quite street disturbed only by the cries of the children whose families live there.

As the neighbours adapt to the newcomers in different ways, the children fill their days with cricket matches, romantic crushes, and small rivalries. Their innocence contrasts sharply with the petty prejudices of the adults charged with their care. But the tremors of the civil war are mounting and it is only a matter of time before

the conflict engulfs them all and the sleepy neighbourhood erupts in violence.

Tender and heartbreaking, this book was longlisted for the DSC Prize 2014.

4. Book: The Invention of Wings; Author: Sue Monk Kidd; Publisher: Tider Press; Pages: 370

Sarah Grimke is the middle daughter. The one her mother calls difficult and her father calls remarkable. On Sarah’s 11th birthday, Hetty ‘Handful’ Grimke is taken from the slave quarters, wrapped in lavender ribbons, and presented to Sarah as a gift. Sarah knows that she can’t accept. And so the trouble begins…

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