History, publishing, arts, Lokpal on shelf

Last Updated: Sep 02, 2011, 09:42 AM IST

New Delhi: Enjoy this weekend with exciting and quality books on the shelf.

1. "The Yellow Emperor`s Cure"; Written by Kunal Basu; Published by Pan Macmillan; Priced at Rs.1123

Set between Portugal and China in the late 1800s, "The Yellow Emperor`s Cure" is the fascinating story of a young doctor`s search for a cure to the deadly syphilis. In 1898, Antonio Maria, surgeon and notorious playboy, returns home to Lisbon after a long absence to learn that his beloved father has syphilis, the scourge of both rich and poor. Determined to find a cure, Antonio sails to Peking to study under renowned doctor Xu.

But the Chinese master does not intend to give away his knowledge easily, insisting that Antonio spend four full seasons in the Summer Palace. While learning the Chinese secrets of the human body, Antonio falls in love with Xu`s assistant, the elusive Fumi. The threat of the Boxer rebellion hangs over Peking, and Antonio and Fumi must decide whether to flee together or remain in China, testing the limits of their love and faith in the human power to cure the scourge.

2. "Ithaca"; Written by David Davidar; Published by HarperCollins-India; Priced at Rs.399

In the early years of 21st century, sweeping changes took place in the publishing industry and its key players must do everything they can in order to survive. Litmus, an independent literary publishing firm in Britain, is one of the companies that are struggling to keep afloat. The onus of ensuring that it remains viable falls upon its publisher, Zachariah Thomas. He also edits its most successful author, Massimo Seppi, whose quartet of novels, featuring angels and archangels, has sold millions of copies worldwide.

Unfortunately for Zach and Litmus, Seppi dies unexpectedly. Without its star it appears that Litmus`s chances of surviving the economic downturn and the unwanted attentions of a giant corporation that is intent on taking it over are practically non-existent. Unless Zach can mine the Seppi legacy for one last gem that will give the company some breathing room to regroup and chart out a strategy for the future. As he travels the world on his quest to stave off the disaster that threatens, the reader is offered an unforgettable glimpse into the turbulent, exhilarating world of international publishing.

3. "Lokpal: Facts and Arguments"; Written by Parsa Venkateshwar Rao Jr; Published by Har Anand; Priced at Rs.295

The volume traces the developments with regard to the Lokpal legislation in the past and in the present. The debate in the Lok Sabha in August 1969 before the passing of the Lokpal Bill is discussed along with the many texts of the Lokpal Bill prepared by activist Anna Hazare`s group and the United Progressive Alliance as well as that of the five ministers in the joint drafting committee.

It also discusses the work and observations of the Lokayuktas in the state and political assumptions.

4. "Indian Painting: The Lesser Known Traditions"; Edited by Anna L. Dallapiccola; Published by Niyogi Books; Priced at Rs.2,495

The papers in the rich pictorial anthology have been assembled from a conference, "Indian Paintings: The Lesser Known Traditions", held in Houston in 2008. The papers highlight the lesser known artistic expressions, grouped under the heading folk art.

These expressions are now beginning to be recognised as of pivotal importance for an understanding of the social setting in which they have evolved. They concentrate on Assam, Bengal, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala. The time-span covered by the works discusses the contributors, ranging from the late 17th century to the present day.

5. "Rapture: The Art of Indian Textiles"; Written by Rahul Jain; Published by Niyogi Books; Priced at Rs.3,995

The book celebrates India`s spectacular textile art. It takes the reader on a visual journey spanning 500 years, tracing the images created on cloth for India`s magnificent courts and temples as well as for more distant but more discerning patrons in Europe and Asia.

It showcases the motifs and colours of some of the most remarkable textiles to have survived the past. Several of these have never been published before and some appeared in textile books and journals so many decades ago. The book takes the new generation of textile enthusiasts and researchers on a journey of the country`s heritage fashion street.

IANS

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