Inextricably linked with the fatwa called against its author in the wake of the novel’s publication, The Satanic Verses is, beyond that, a rich showcase for Salman Rushdie’s comic sensibilities, cultural observations, and unparalleled mastery of language. The book begins with two Indians plummeting from the sky after the explosion of their airliner, and proceeds through a series of metamorphoses, dreams and revelations.
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Dr. Aziz is a young Muslim physician in the British Indian town of Chandrapore. One evening he comes across an English woman, Mrs. Moore, in the courtyard of a local mosque; she and her younger travelling companion Adela are disappointed by claustrophobic British colonial culture and wish to see something of the 'real' India. But when Aziz kindly offers to take them on a tour of the Marabar caves with his close friend Cyril Fielding, the trip results in a shocking accusation....
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A House for Mr. Biswas, by Nobel and Booker Prize-winning author V. S. Naipaul, is a powerful novel about one man's struggle for identity and belonging. Born into poverty, then trapped in the shackles of charity and gratitude, Mr. Biswas longs for a house he can call his own. He loathes his wife and her wealthy family, upon whom he is dependent. Finding himself a mere accessory on their estate, his constant rebellion is motivated by the one thing that can symbolize his independence.
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Kipling's masterpiece Kim is his final and most famous work and one of the first and greatest espionage stories ever written. It explores the life of Kimball O'Hara, an Irish orphan who spends his childhood as a vagrant in Lahore. When he befriends an aged Tibetan lama his life is transformed as he is requested to accompany him on a mysterious quest to find the legendary River of the Arrow and achieve Enlightenment.
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When the elderly father of a top Pakistani cricketer playing in the multi-million-dollar Indian Premier League dies during a post-match dinner, it’s not a simple case of Delhi Belly. His butter chicken has been poisoned. To solve the case, Puri must penetrate the region’s organized crime, following a trail that leads deep into Pakistan - the country in which many members of the P.I.’s family were massacred during the 1947 partition of India. The last piece of the puzzle, however, turns up closer to home when Puri learns of the one person who can identify the killer. Unfortunately it is the one woman in the world with whom he has sworn never to work: his Mummy-ji.
Regular price: $18.17
Michael Wood weaves a spellbinding narrative out of the 10,000-year history of India. Home today to more than a fifth of the world's population, the subcontinent gave birth to the oldest and most influential civilization on Earth, to four world religions, and to the world's largest democracy. Now, as India bids to become a global giant, Michael sets out to trace the roots of India's present in the incredible riches of her past.
Regular price: $20.99
In the India of 1942, two rapes take place simultaneously - that of an English girl in Mayapore, and that of India by the British. In each, physical violence, racial animosity, the coercion of the weak by the strong all play their part, but playing a part too are love, affection, loyalty, and recognition that the last division of all to be overcome is the colour of the skin.
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Dr. Suresh Jha, best known for unmasking fraudulent swamis and godmen, dies in a fit of giggles at his morning yoga class when goddess Kali appears from the mist and plunges a sword into his chest. The only one laughing now is the main suspect, a powerful guru named Maharaj Swami, who seems to have done away with his most vocal critic.
Regular price: $15.36
On February 14, 1989, Valentine's Day, Salman Rushdie was telephoned by a BBC journalist and told that he had been "sentenced to death" by the Ayatollah Khomeini. For the first time he heard the word fatwa. His crime? To have written a novel called The Satanic Verses, which was accused of being "against Islam, the Prophet and the Quran". So begins the extraordinary story of how a writer was forced underground, moving from house to house, with the constant presence of a police protection team.
Regular price: $35.00
Former government minister Ralph Singh is the perpetual outsider: displaced, disillusioned, and now living in exile, Ralph reflects on his earlier life and the searing effects of colonialism. Ralph's constant estrangement sees him ever attempting to fit into various communities, only to find home in more transient spaces. Born on the tropical island of Isabella, he is one of West India's many "Mimic Men".
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In hot and dusty Delhi, Puri's main work comes from screening prospective marriage partners, a job once the preserve of aunties and family priests. But when an honest public litigator is accused of murdering his maidservant, it takes all of Puri's resources to investigate. How will he trace the fate of the girl, known only as Mary, in a population of more than one billion? Who is taking pot shots at him and his prize chilli plants?
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Inspector Ghote comes to London. The Indian police inspector is to attend an international conference on drug smuggling, and in cold, drizzling London he is faced with his first case outside India - and it's a very odd case.
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Inspector Ghote of the Bombay police has been regulated to antipickpocket patrol, where he promptly gets himself into one of those fearful fixes which are equally the product of his faults and his virtues.
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On the shocking discovery of a passenger's body on the Great Western Railway excursion train, Detective Inspector Robert Colbeck and his assistant, Sergeant Victor Leeming, are dispatched to the scene. Faced with what initially appears to be a motiveless murder, Colbeck is intrigued by the murder weapon - a noose. When it emerges that the victim had worked as a public executioner, Colbeck realises that this must be intrinsically linked to the killer's choice of weapon.
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In this contemporary Romeo and Juliet story set within India's caste system, private investigator Vish Puri faces his most difficult challenge to date - a high-stakes mystery involving one of India's most controversial commodities: love. When Ram and Tulsi fall in love, the young woman's parents are dead set against the union. She's from a high-caste family, but her boyfriend is an untouchable from the lowest strata of Indian society. Young Tulsi's father locks her up and promises to hunt down and kill the "lover boydog."
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A riveting story of money and power, luxury and deprivation, set in the booming city of Mumbai. At the heart of this novel are two equally compelling men, poised for a showdown. Real-estate developer Dharmen Shah rose from nothing to create an empire and hopes to seal his legacy with a building named the Shanghai, which promises to be one of the city’s most elite addresses. Larger-than-life Shah is a dangerous man to refuse. But he meets his match in a retired schoolteacher called Masterji.
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In The Guiding Light, Dr Kalam chooses the finest examples of writings from the numerous books, religious texts, philosophical tracts and poetry that he has read over the years. These words have impacted and shaped his thinking, helped him in times of need and made him the person he is. He has quoted from these works in his writings and lectures that have inspired millions of people he has met all over the world.
Regular price: $6.96
The Railway Detective faces his most dangerous adversary yet. It is 1852, and Inspector Robert Colbeck and his assistant Sergeant Victor Leeming are faced with their most complex and difficult case to date. As a train speeds over the Sankey Viaduct, a man is hurled from a carriage and plummets into the canal below. It later transpires that he has been stabbed to death. With no papers by which to identify the man, the detectives' investigation is hampered from the start. Suspecting that the victim may have come from continental Europe, Colbeck and Leeming take the case to France where a new railway is being built by a British contractor.
Regular price: $17.76
For nearly 1,000 years, from the destruction of temples and monasteries by Muslim invaders in the 11th and 12th centuries, followed by Hinduism’s increasing power, Buddhism vanished from the country of its origin. Though hugely influential throughout Asia, the religion was forgotten in India.
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This is a story from the Great Explorers collection.
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