Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar
Pix: Namrata Basnet
1. ONE THOUSAND DAYS IN A REFRIGERATOR: STORIES, collection of short stories by Manoj Kumar Panda, translated from the original Odia by Snehaprava Das: An interesting read with stories full of twists and power.
2. WHEN THE RIVER SLEEPS, novel by Easterine Kire: Easterine Kire took me to a beautiful and familiar world in this novel.
3. LADY LOLITA’S LOVER, novel by R. Raj Rao: An entertaining, sexy, and satisfying juxtaposition of the Nanavati Case and D. H. Lawrence’s classic, ‘Lady Chatterley’s Lover’.
4. JIHADI JANE, novel by Tabish Khair: An entertaining take on a very serious issue, I felt for the characters in Tabish Khair’s novel, especially the character Halide.
5. A FULL NIGHT’S THIEVERY: STORIES, collection of short stories by Mitra Phukan: Calm, composed stories with some very beautiful sentences—since I have heard Mitra Phukan speak and know how soft-spoken and composed she is, reading her stories in this collection was almost like listening to her read the stories live.
6. THE NIGHT GUEST, novel by Fiona McFarlane: Aged parents living alone, children living far away, parents noticing strange things in the house—this book is a thriller, but with a social message.
7. DHUA OTANG OG KANA (THE SMOKE IS WAFTING AWAY), collection of poems in Santhali by Parimal Hansda: This collection of poems won the Sahitya Akademi Yuva Puraskar 2016 in Santhali. I have not read the entire collection, just a few poems (in December 2016—so I look forward to reading more poems from this collection), and I loved them! I am not exactly a poetry person, but the images the poet creates – there is a poem set in Jangalmahal area of West Bengal, another about a man sitting in a boat with no boatman – I was just absorbed in those images.
What I Look Forward To Reading In 2017:
I am reading Easterine Kire’s novel, ‘Son Of The Thundercloud’, now. Beautiful work! I will finish reading this first. Then I hope to read more poems from Parimal Hansda’s collection, ‘Dhua Otang Og Kana’, and also more works in Santhali. And one book which I am absolutely looking forward to reading in 2017 is a publishing event that so many people all over the world must be looking forward to: Arundhati Roy’s second novel in twenty years, ‘The Ministry Of Utmost Happiness’.