The Private Life of Mrs Sharma by Ratika Kapur
Much like its eponymous heroine, readers of this novel are lured into a false sense of security before it deals them a killer blow.
At first glance, the story follows the well-trodden path of ambition for material success. Renuka Sharma—Renu—is a married woman living in a cramped apartment in Delhi with her retired in-laws and only son, Bobby. Her husband, Dheeraj, works in Dubai as a physiotherapist while she makes ends meet as a receptionist in a gynaecologist’s clinic. [more...]
Babies & Bylines: Parenting on the Move by Pallavi Aiyar
Pallavi Aiyar is used to being a hard-nosed journalist, reporting from the far corners of China or as a journalism fellow at Oxford. And then she decides to have a baby. So begins Aiyar’s latest memoir, Babies & Bylines: Parenting on the Move, which travels from Beijing to Brussels and then onto Jakarta, where Aiyar and her “tangy chutney of a family” live over the course of seven years. Aiyar, who previously detailed her experiences in China in Smoke and Mirrors and then those in Europe with Punjabi Parmesan, turns her attention to parenting in her latest book and the many larger issues that are a part of it. [more...]
CEO, China: The Rise of Xi Jinping by Kerry Brown
Today it is China, rather more than Russia, that is — in the words of Winston Churchill — “a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.” The Chinese leadership seems to like it that way: “We may live in an age of openness and information,” writes Kerry Brown in CEO, China: The Rise of Xi Jinping,
but the inner workings of the Chinese political system, and in particular the lives and thinking of its leaders, remain of the few bastions of opacity.
Brown goes on to note that “Chinese politics has often been treated as something remote and mysterious, best left to specialists,” but that he wishes to “encourage as wide an audience as possible to think about, and engage with, the political life of China.” [more...]