Publishing News [National]

V C Thomas, publishing and rights consultant, V C books and Manasi Subrahmaniam of Penguin Random House India have been selected for the prestigious Zev Birger Jerusalem Book Fair Fellowship 2017. Thomas is the first recipient from Malayalam publishing for this fellowship.

SAGE Publishing has released Masood Khalini’s Whispers of Wars: An Afghan Freedom Fighter’s Account of the Soviet Invasion. Launch of the book in New Delhi was flanked by a host of eminent guests comprising Shakti Sinha, president, Nehru Memorial Museum & Library as moderator alongside IP Khosla, member secretary, Indian Council for South Asian Co-operation and former Indian ambassador to Afghanistan; Dr Vishal Chandra, research fellow, Institute for Defense Study and Analyses and among other dignitaries.

In Whispers of Wars, author Masood Khalini narrates his first-hand account of Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. In the summer of 1986, he was barely 30 and he kept a diary while travelling through northern Afghanistan. That record has yielded this elegiac book on the Afghan people in the midst of their war of resistance against the then Soviet Union. But Whispers of War is a memoir, not a diary of self. It is a group portrait of the Afghan nation and its diverse, resilient culture in a season of extreme pressure. Masood’s journey in the book unfolds with conversations and eyewitness encountered with farmers, refugees, horsemen, villagers, and commanders.

“I encountered the pain of war through extraordinary voices—children lost to random gunfire, volunteer fighters suffering from wounds that cannot be treated properly and many such agonies,” said Masood, recalling the anguish that still lingers in his mind. Whispers of War offers an additional corrective, step by step, day by day as the book’s journey carries the humane heart of Afghanistan, to its suffering, beauty, poetry, and aspirations for peace. Masood, son of the famous Persian poet laureate Ustad Khalilullah Khalili, had reportedly spent five years in India and studied at Kirori Mal College of Delhi University in the seventies.

Children’s literature festival Bookaroo has won the International Excellence Award in the Literary Festivals category at the London Book Fair 2017. Launched in 2008, it is organised in different Indian cities, inviting speakers from various countries to speak to children to encourage them to read more. The festival also runs an outreach programme called Bookaroo in the City.

Chikankari is one of the finest traditional embroideries of India, a symbol of Lucknawi culture and elegant courts of the nawabs of Awadh. Chikankari appeared in Lucknow in the late 18th century and its exquisite aesthetic and craftsmanship has sustained the tradition to this day, through changing patronage and market trends.

Chikankari: A Lucknawi Tradition, authored by Paola Manfredi and published by Niyogi Books was officially launched at New Delhi in the presence of activist, author and Indian handicrafts curator Jaya Jaitly; along with fashion designer and film producer Meera Ali and renowned filmmaker, fashion designer, poet and artist Muzaffar Ali.

This beautifully illustrated book showcases unknown gems from personal and public collections, and brings to life the history of this unique craft tradition. The various chapters describe the mysterious origins of the craft, the range of costumes, the inspirations behind it motifs, the time-honored elaborate production process, and the bewildering array of stitches that raised this craft to a truly exceptional art form.

On the sidelines of the recent New Delhi World Book Fair (NDWBF) 2017, Parragon Publishing India released three new titles—Window to Success and Make in India by Sunil Kumar Gupta; and The Spirit of Chhattisgarh by Amit Pasricha & Nirad Grover. The first two are from the publisher’s Business Series while the third one from Spirit Series. “Our books are categorised under different ‘Series’ as per the topics or subjects,” said Vineet Sharma, MD, Indian Subcontinent & Middle East. Having been in the industry for 29 years, Parragon, being one of the largest licensed publishers in the world, represents renowned international brands such as Walt Disney, Mattel, Nickelodeon, among others.

Author Sunil Kumar Gupta is a fellow member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI). His new book Window to Success is an insight into the micro, small and medium enterprises sector while Make in India, as the title says it all, is a compendium of existing business opportunities in India. “Both my new books are on the rising business opportunities in India; the chapters narrate about making our country a global manufacturing hub to create employment opportunities,” mentioned Sunil Kumar.

Photographer and panoramist Amit Pasricha tells story through vivacious photos of tribal arts, landscapes and architectural wonders in his book The Spirit of Chhattisgarh. The photo book reinforces readers to explore the undiscovered treasures of the country. Present as guests at the book launch event were Maj Gen PN Ananthanarayana, DDG EM (GS&C), MGO Branch, Ministry of Defense, Government of India; Dinesh Verma, fellow member, ICAI; and painter & artist Sanjay Bhattacharyya.

Referring the buzz about the dying of printed books, Vineet Sharma said, “It’s not going that way; publishers still produce physical books and love for books still linger among readers. We are the living example of this.” He added such joie de vivre of physical books was seen at the NDWBF 2017, right from the day one of the fair. Over the last three years, Parragon Publishing India has released more than 700 new titles.