First Person Singular by Haruki Murakami (Knopf; available since April 6, 2021)
Haruki Murakami is back with his new short story collection titled First Person Singular.
First Person Singular is a collection of eight stories that tell about the banal and special moments of human life with fundamental ontological questions lingering around the narrators’ view of life. The stories are a casual play of boundaries between fictionality and reality. These bittersweet, poignant and captivating stories will make the readers roam into a world of wistful recollections of youth, past love affairs, literature, music, baseball and philosophical reflections.
Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro (Faber and Faber; available since March 2, 2021)
Nobel laureate Kazuo Ishiguro once again presents his readers a magnificent novel Klara and the Sun.
This is a story of the solar-powered robot girl Klara, who was created as an Artificial Friend and “grows up” in the window of a store and observes the world outside. Klara is an extraordinary observer and tries to understand what it means to be a human being and wants to learn about the supposed interconnectedness of humanity. Does the robot thus develop a spiritual inclination that we humans have recklessly abandoned? A novel that offers easy reading at a high level yet is full of questions and without answers.
Voices of Dissent: An Essay (Seagull Books; available since February 13, 2021)
Eminent academic and Emeritus Professor of History at JNU, Romila Thapar delves into the historical context of dissent in India in her most recent book Voices of Dissent: An Essay. This book takes into account many historical voices while raising significant questions for both political establishments and dissenters.
This is a timely historical essay where Thapar investigates that dissent has a long history in the Indian subcontinent, although its forms have advanced or altered over the centuries. Here she presents the evolution of dissent with a focus on nonviolent forms, bringing an alternative perspective to an existing set of narratives. Thapar brings examples from ancient and medieval Indian society to show the foundation on which the current society and the recent protests e.g. anti-CAA-NRC and farmers’ protests in India stand.