Editor’s note: Now that we have our Advisory edition, we will be featuring the brilliant recommendations of our partner, the Champaca Bookstore, in the Read section. FYI: Champaca is an independent women-run and -founded bookstore and children's library in Bangalore.
Dive Into Our Feminist Shelf!
If you know us at Champaca Bookstore, you know that our shelves are always bustling with books about and by women. This Sunday, we’re recommending some books (fiction and nonfiction!) that reflect on various aspects of feminist politics, identity, and womanhood.
In ‘Unbound’, Annie Zaidi collects some of the most significant writing by Indian women over the past two thousand years. Divided into eleven sections, ranging from spirituality, love, social identity and more, this book brings to light distinctive and powerful voices.
‘Savitribai Phule and I’, written by Sangeetha Mulay, comes to us from Nagpur-based Dalit publisher Panther’s Paw. In it, we meet Shabri—a shy, young, Dalit girl who discovers the diary of social activist and revolutionary Savitribai, and blossoms into a confident feminist.
Circe has always been known as a strange child—she grew up in the shadows. But, in Madeline Miller’s mesmerising reimagination, Circe is a woman who goes against all odds and nurtures her love for magic and witchcraft. As the story unfolds, we begin to see her as a powerful woman, who must fight to make her way through a man’s world.
Shah Rukh Khan is a cultural Indian phenomenon like no other. In ‘Desperately Seeking Shah Rukh’, author Shrayana Bhattacharya takes us into the largely female fandom of this much-loved actor. With this fandom as a lens, Bhattacharya examines the lives of young women—their struggles, their aspirations of economic independence, their loneliness, and their hopes and desires.
In ‘Seeing Like A Feminist’, Nivedita Menon articulates feminism as a gradual, decisive shift in society. From sexual harrasment, to the caste politics of Indian Feminism, to queer politics and workers unions—Menon’s writing covers a wide range of topics.
Published by Delhi-based feminist and indie publisher Zubaan, ‘We Also Made History’ is a path-breaking book that gives us a historical overview of the role of women in anti-caste movements, edited by Urmila Pawar and Meenakshi Moon.
Another Zubaan book, edited by Jayawati Shrivastava, ‘Lady Driver’ brings us a series of twelve conversations with women taxi drivers. The book chronicles why these women choose to be on the road, their professional challenges, their personal lives, and their achievements.
Written by activist Salma, and translated from Tamil by Meena Kandasamy, ‘Women Dreaming’ is a beautiful novel about three women—Mehar, Asiya, and Sajida—who live in a small village in Tamil Nadu. The novel invites us into the inner worlds of these women, and their dreams of freedom and independence.
Life at Champaca: Our team at Champaca has been reading a variety of books. Earlier this month, all of our team picked their favourites from our in-store collection and we shared it on Instagram. Find the post here! You can find more of our staff recommendations on our website. Needless to say, the onslaught of winter has been a great excuse for us to stay tucked in our blankets with a book. Instead of choosing between reading and binge watching, we decided to do both! We came up with a list of book to screen adaptations that we love, and decided to experience our favourite stories through multiple mediums. You can find the recommendation list here!
If you’re in Bangalore, we invite you to visit our store, have a cup of hot coffee, and go home with a bag full of books. And as always, you can find us and our book recommendations, and keep up with our upcoming events, on our website, Instagram, and Twitter!