AMISH is their star. Anuja Chauhan recently defected to them from HarperCollins with all her pricey Thakur girls. Chennai-based Westland Books is on a roll. Now another biggie from Penguin is said to be shifting his loyalties. Banker-turned ‘financial thriller’ writer Ravi Subramanian (If God Was A Banker, Bankerupt) is all set to publish his next with Westland, which seems to be on the prowl. Others better watch out.
How do you react to a sequel to a holy book? Well, it’s not exactly a sequel. Harper Lee wrote Go Set A Watchman before To Kill A Mockingbird, which quickly became the conscience-keeper of a whole generation. Predictably, the reaction to her second book, published this week, has been mixed, and some critics are scathing. The main bone of contention appears to be how Atticus Finch, the lawyer with high ideals, has changed over time, showing racist tendencies in his later years. Jean Louise ‘Scout’ too seems to have lost some of her sting. But it may be best to make up our own minds after reading the book.
While on holy books, Gita Press, which has sold close to 72 million copies of the Bhagawad Gita, 70 million copies of Tulsidas’s works and about 20 million copies of Puranas and Upanishads, is the subject of a forthcoming book, Gita Press and the Making of Hindu India by Akshaya Mukul (HarperCollins). It was set up by two businessmen in the 1920s and its magazine Kalyan became a voice for militant Hinduism during the freedom struggle and later. The book is significant in the current climate when most of the issues Gita Press took up are back in news.