February 20, 2020
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Surprises Of The year

Those panned as below-average, or "pleasantly anodyne", turned out to be, well above average, when it came to sales...

Surprises Of The year
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Above Average—By Amitabha Bagchi (HarperCollins)

All angst, no central character, this "pleasantly anodyne" book was panned by critics as below average, but readers loved it, with sales of over 18,000 copies, and still soaring.

Almost Single—By Advaita Kala (HarperCollins)

Chicklit finally arrived in India, and how! This sassy tale by a hotel executive clambered up the bestseller charts and stayed there, thanks to a new generation of no-hangups readers.

The Oxford India Gandhi:—Compiled and Edited by Gopalkrishna Gandhi (Oxford University Press)

What threatened to be a forbiddingly academic tome on Gandhiji turned out to be a racy, quirky, no-holds-barred peek into the real man behind the plaster saint.

Gifted—By Nikita Lalwani (Penguin)

This quietly insightful coming-of-age novel could have easily got lost in the deluge of fiction under the lazy label of "chicklit" if it had not made it to the Booker longlist.

Mr and Mrs Dutt—Memories of Our Parents—By Namrata Dutt Kumar and Priya Dutt (Roli)

Even family albums with cute letters from the kids to Mummy and Papa can sell, as this picturebook of the Dutt family proved when it left the nation misty-eyed with nostalgia.

The Assassin’s Song—By M.G. Vassanji (Penguin)

The award-winning Canadian author of five previous novels finally won notice in the country of his birth by tackling the hot subject of faith and conflict in his native Gujarat.

Filming: A Love Story—By Tabish Khair (Picador)

Its promising title belied by its unpromisingly dense Joycean beginning, Filming may be no Bollywood tale, but its ambitious historical sweep won over the critics.

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