Five books to look forward to in November 2018
The month of November will reignite memories of
long queues at ATMs following the recall of 86 per cent of circulated currency
during the demonetisation in 2016 as at least three books -- both fiction and
non-fiction -- will attempt to unravel the controversial decision. The month
will also witness a leading litfest in Mumbai, along with a specially curated
festival celebrating the beauty of classics, and the long list announcement of
the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature.
Among the most anticipated novels from the coming month is "Don't Tell
The Governor" by Ravi Subramanian, whose stories are set against the
backdrop of the financial services industry. Published by HarperCollins India,
his 10th novel weaves a fictional narrative around demonetisation.
"When the Prime Minister declares demonetisation at 8 p.m. on 8 November, 2016,
it leaves the nation stunned. But the governor of the Reserve Bank of India
(RBI), who should have ideally been party to the decision, is at a crossroads.
He has just carried out the most brazen act of his life -- yet, it looks like it
might also have been his most foolish.
"Will he be able to pull himself out of the mess he has got into or will he be
condemned for life? Will he manage to retain his autonomy or meekly surrender to
the forces behind the massive scam? Or is he going to be the victim of a very
sinister plot? Running desperately out of time, the governor has one week to set
things right," the publisher informed IANS about the narrative in the upcoming
The next book, non-fiction, is by Meera Sanyal, who stepped down from her role
as CEO and Chairperson of the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) India in December
2013, and is titled "The Big Reverse: How Demonetization Knocked India
Out" (HarperCollins India).
Describing demonetisation as a black swan event in Indian history, the book,
according to the publisher, will provide "the most comprehensive analysis of the
policy, its execution and pitfalls". It will present unprecedented insights
backed by data, history and research, and as a result, answer the questions that
still continue to haunt Indians, on the what, why and how of demonetisation.
"While the Modi government claimed that it was the silver bullet that India
needed to eliminate many of its longstanding problems such as black money,
corruption, tax evasion and terror funding, the months that followed proved it
otherwise. The return of 99.7 per cent of the banned 500- and 1,000-rupee notes
showed that the RBI's idea of a Demonetisation Dividend was nothing but a
mirage. In the process, livelihoods of millions in the informal sector were
destroyed, causing enormous distress to farmers and traders and forcing many
micro, small and medium businesses into bankruptcy," Sanyal notes in the book.
And then there is "Of Counsel: The Challenges of the Modi-Jaitley
Economy" (Penguin Random House India) by former Chief Economic Advisor
Arvind Subramanian, whose trusteeship saw the country through one of the most
hotly contested and turbulent periods of economic governance and policymaking in
recent decades -- from the demonetisation to the introduction of the Goods and
Services Tax, or GST.
Subramanian, according to the publisher, provides an inside account of his
rollercoaster journey as the CEA. With an illustrious cast of characters,
Subramanian's part-memoir, part-analytical book candidly reveals the numerous
triumphs and challenges of policymaking at the zenith, while appraising India's
economic potential through comprehensive research and original hypotheses.
Bibliophiles will also be introduced to "A Stranger Truth: Lessons in
Love, Leadership and Courage from India's Sex Workers" by Ashok
When Alexander left a high-profile corporate job to head Avahan, the Bill &
Melinda Gates Foundation's programme to stem the growth of the HIV epidemic in
India, he was plunged into a world far removed from the comfort zones he had
lived and worked in all his life. It was a grinding place where women sold
themselves for Rs 50 and 14-year-olds injected drugs. It was the shadow world of
transgenders and of young gay men in a country that still criminalised same-sex
During the 10 years Alexander built Avahan, it grew to become one of the largest
and most successful HIV prevention programmes in the world, credited with
averting over 6.5 lakh new infections. Based on his experiences, "A Stranger
Truth" compellingly brings alive the world of people most vulnerable to
HIV/AIDS, and some of the unlikely heroes among them.
And last but not the least, there is "Heads You Win" by Jeffrey
Archer, published by PanMacmillan. It is billed as an "incredible and thrilling
novel" by the master storyteller, whose final twist will shock even his most
ardent fans. The publisher said that this is the international number one
bestselling author's "most ambitious and creative work" since "Kane and Abel".