Kunzum review asked Trisha De Niyogi, the Chief Operating Officer and Director at Niyogi Books, to list out her top five recommendations for our readers. Here’s her list of must-read books
1. Totto-Chan: The Little Girl at the Window by Tetsuko Kuroyanagi and Chichiro Iwasaki
Totto-Chan, based on the life of Japan’s most popular television personality Tetsuko Kuroyanagi, is a series of recollections about a school in Tokyo during World War II. The school, with old railroad cars for classrooms, combined learning with fun, freedom and love and was run by Sosaku Kobayashi, an extraordinary man who was a firm believer in freedom of expression and activity. Kuronayagi attributes her success in life to the school and its headmaster.
2. White Crane, Lend Me Your Wings by Tsewang Yishey Pemba
Set in the breathtakingly beautiful Nyarong Valley of Eastern Tibet’s Kham province, White Crane, Lend me your Wings is a historical fiction from the first half of the twentieth century.
This coming-of-age narrative touches upon individual lives and sweeping events that help create an epic vision of a country. It begins with the story of a failed Christian mission in Tibet even as it captures the spirit of the fierce warrior tribe of Khampas. Vengeance, warfare and love intertwine in this life story of two young boys and their family and friends. China’s invasion of Tibet complicates the lives of the people even further. This novel is about the inevitability of change and the importance of human values such as loyalty and compassion.
3. T’ta Professor by Manohar Shyam Joshi and Ira Pande
This is the story of a thin, short man Khastivallabh Pant, who is a school teacher in a remote Kumaoni village. He is mockingly referred to as “T’ta Professor”. He carries a notebook to jot down English words that he hears for the first time, and acknowledges the word as acceptable only if it’s in his Oxford Dictionary. When T’ta starts to tell his tale, what begins as an innocent idyll turns quickly into an erotic and scatological romp. As the story unravels, the multiple narratives reveal a complex figure, comic and tragic by turns, and takes the reader down a rabbit hole of gothic bleakness of unimaginable dimensions.
4. Mapping India by by Manosi Lahiri
This book presents an overview of important maps that eloquently reflect the changing social and political fortunes of India. These maps speak of the commercial interests and wars that led to the colonisation of India.
5. Entering the Maze by by Krishnagopal Mallick and Niladri R. Chatterjee
Entering the Maze transport us to a North Kolkata of trams, lanes and by-lanes. The prose easily pulls the reader into a life lived with honesty and joy. Rarely has Bengali literature witnessed such clear-eyed narratives of public and private violence, sexuality, and humour. These translations introduce the readers to a craftsman of deadpan story-telling who infuses North Kolkata with a queer radiance unmatched in Indian writing. The two short stories and a novella in this book are a significant addition to the queer literature of in India. Once you enter the maze, you cannot emerge unmoved, unchanged, unaffected.
Pick these books from any Kunzum store or WhatsApp +91.8800200280 to order. Buy the book(s) and the coffee’s on us.
About the Author
Trisha De Niyogi is the Chief Operating Officer and Director at Niyogi Books, an independent publishing house based out of New Delhi, India. Filled with energy & an ardent desire to bring change, her other professional interests focus on the ‘education sector’ & the ‘cultural heritage of India’, wherein she aims to bring about social reform and contribute in policy making.
Trisha holds degrees in Mathematics, Economics and Business Administration.