Sub title: My Life Inside Al-Qaeda
He was the Western convert who would plunge deep inside al-Qaeda. He named his first son Osama after 9/11 and became a Jihadist. But then - after a sudden loss of faith - Morten Storm made a life-changing decision. He became a double agent and joined the CIA, MI6 and MI5. Filled with hair-raising close calls and duplicity, Storm's story builds to the climactic finale when he must betray his friend and mentor al-Awlaki - al-Qaeda's biggest threat to the West. Storm is trusted to find al-Awlaki a wife from Europe. She becomes the bait for a possible American drone strike.
The Fall of the Kingdom of Punjab
This riveting historical narrative is more full of drama than any fiction. With the death of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the great Punjab empire he had built was riven by intrigues, betrayals, assassinations and wars until the British finally annexed it, seizing the Kohinoor diamond and sending the young Maharaja Duleep Singh into exile in Britain. Khushwant Singh brings this turbulent period to vivid life in this page-turning account of the collapse of a once-mighty kingdom.
Death and Dying
Billions have died in the thousands of years since human beings first developed language, but we do not have a single credible account of the subjective experience of dying and the afterlife. This is why death continues to be an immense mystery and a subject of eternal fascination.
In Death and Dying, scholars and intellectuals illumine the major issues raised by the inevitable ending to life. The range is wide: from the dread that accompanies all notions of mortality to the objective evidence for the existence of an afterlife; from an exploration of the spiritual dimensions of mourning to analyses of how death was perceived and interpreted by geniuses like John Keats, Rabindranath Tagore and Carl Jung.
Utterly compelling, these essays prompt us to question our fears and notions of death while enabling us to perceive this phenomenon with greater understanding and intelligence.
Indian Voices of the Great War
Sub title: Soldiers' Letters, 1914-18
The voices who could tell the Indian story of the First World War have long been silenced, but at last India is getting the chance to hear its own soldiers speaking in this collection of letters sent by them while they served in France. Fighting alongside soldiers whose language, customs and indeed colour were strange to them, these letters bear eloquent witness to the sepoys’ often unsettling encounters with Europe and European culture. By turns poignant, funny and moving, they provide an intimate picture of the world of the Western Front.
Many Roads through Paradise
Sub title: An Anthology of Sri Lankan Literature
Shyam Selvadurai pieces together the best of Sri Lankan poetry and fiction in this anthology. From the Sinhala and Tamil writers of the 1950s to diasporic writers of today, from stories of love and longing to those of brutality and death, this masterfully constructed anthology will give you a rich sense Sri Lanka’s history, its people and the stories they have to tell.
The Accidental Prime Minister
Sub title: The Making and Unmaking of Manmohan Singh
“Manmohan has three daughters, no son; so he treats Sanjaya as a son.” - Sonia Gandhi, Outlook
In 2004 Sanjaya Baru left a successful career as chief editor of the Financial Express to join Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as his media adviser in UPA 1. Singh offered him the job with the words, ‘Sitting here, I know I will be isolated from the outside world. I want you to be my eyes and ears. Tell me what you think I should know, without fear or favour.’
The Accidental Prime Minister is Baru’s account of what it was like to ‘manage’ public opinion for Singh while giving us a riveting look at Indian politics as it happened behind the scenes. As Singh’s spin doctor and trusted aide for four years, Baru observed up close Singh’s often troubled relations with his ministers, his cautious equation with Sonia Gandhi and how he handled the big crises from managing the Left to pushing through the nuclear deal. In this book he tells all and draws for the first time a revelatory picture of what it was like for Singh to work in a government that had two centres of power.
Insightful, acute and packed with political gossip, The Accidental Prime Minister is one of the great insider accounts of Indian political life and a superb portrait of the Manmohan Singh era.
Love among the Bookshelves
Many readers have grown up with Ruskin Bond’s stories. Now in an utterly delightful anthology, he introduces you to the stories he grew up with. Part memoir, part anthology, Love among the Bookshelves is a glimpse into Ruskin’s life through the books he has loved and an introduction to some forgotten classics.
Sub title: Leader of the Dalits
Venerated as a dalit icon, Kanshiram (1934–2006) is regarded as being next only to Ambedkar today. This book illuminates his journey, from the early years in rural Punjab and with Ambedkarites in Pune, to his launching BAMCEF, an umbrella organization uniting backward castes, scheduled tribes, dalits and minorities, and eventually the Bahujan Samaj Party in 1984.
Drawing on myriad oral and written sources, Badri Narayan shows how Kanshiram mobilized dalits with his homespun idiom, cycle rallies and, uniquely, the use of local folk heroes and myths, rousing their self-respect, and how he struck opportunistic alliances with higher-caste parties to seize power for dalits. Evocatively described is his extraordinary relationship with Mayawati, right until his death, and the role she has played in fulfilling his vision, during and after his lifetime.
Contrasting the approach of the two men, Narayan highlights the turn Kanshiram gave to Ambedkar’s ideas. Unlike Ambedkar, who sought its annihilation, he saw caste as a basis for forging a dalit identity and a source of political empowerment.
Authoritative and insightful, this is a rare portrait of the man who changed the face of dalit society and, indeed, of Indian politics.
The Age of Wrath
Sub title: A History of the Delhi Sultanate
The Delhi Sultanate period (1206–1526) is commonly portrayed as an age of chaos and violence—of rapacious, plundering kings, turbulent dynasties, and the aggressive imposition of Islam on India. But it was also the era that saw the creation of a pan-Indian empire, on the foundations of which the Mughals and the British later built their own Indian empires. The encounter between Islam and Hinduism also transformed, among other things, India’s architecture, literature, music and food. Abraham Eraly brings this fascinating period vividly alive, portraying the many kings—mad, brilliant, astute, cruel—who ruled during this period, and discussing the political, social and cultural developments that transformed India. Combining erudition with powerful storytelling, analysis with anecdote, The Age of Wrath is a superb book.
Conversations with Waheeda Rehman
Renowned for her natural talent and haunting beauty, Waheeda Rehman’s career spans an astonishing array of key films in Indian cinema, including Pyaasa, Abhijan, Mujhe Jeene Do, Guide, Teesri Kasam and Rang De Basanti.
In this engaging book of conversations with Nasreen Munni Kabir, Waheeda Rehman proves to be a lively raconteur, speaking about her life and work with refreshing honesty, humour and insight: from the devastating loss of her parents when she was young to making a life in cinema on her own terms, from insightful accounts of working with extraordinary film practitioners like Guru Dutt, Raj Khosla, Satyajit Ray, Raj Kapoor, Dev Anand and Vijay Anand to her friendship with stars like Nargis and Nanda.
A slice of cinema history told through compelling anecdotes and astute observations, Conversations with Waheeda Rehman provides a rare view of a much-adored and award-winning actress of Indian cinema.