Year 2015 could well be considered the year of stereotype bashing; right from ads that left a deep impact on people’s psyche for their sensitive approach towards pressing issues, to books that smashed pre-conceived notions about everything under earth. Here’s a pick of 6 books in 2015 which made us sit up and take note of changing trends in the writing world. (Click on the respective book link to order the book)
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
Two women, two sisters, whose lives and beliefs are absolute contrasts. One’s beliefs are deeply rooted in the stereotypes and the denial that comes with it, the other is driven by her own ideals. Set against a backdrop of the German invasion of France during WWII, The Nightingale puts into perspective the different paths that can be chosen to achieve a common goal – survival.
It Wasn’t Her Fault by Aakash Neeraj Mittal
The story line is nothing new. What is commendable is the brave attempt to highlight the biggest issue with any crime committed. Written by first time author Aakash Neeraj Mittal, this story endeavors to change the persistent inclination of society to blame the victim, especially when the victim is a woman.
Menaka’s Choice by Kavita Kane
Known for presenting Indian epics from a different perspective, read that the women in them (Ramayana from the perspective of Lakshmana’s wife Urmila in “Sita’s Sister” and Mahabharata as Urvi in “Karna’s Wife: The Outcast Queen”), Kavita Kane yet again breaks stereotypes created in Indian mythology, this time by her depiction of the apsara Menaka. Kavita Kane’s Menaka is not only bodily beautiful, but also intelligent, quick-witted and most-differently seeks commitment and a family. The book questions key issues such as gender roles, birth and backgrounds, and individual choices.
Cawnpore by Tom Williams
The LGBT community has been vocal in the past couple of years, and has slowly but steadily gaining a certain degree of acceptance. Cawnpore is the story of a gay man’s struggle to fit into a straight society, long before this suffrage of sorts started. The book is set during the 1857 mutiny against British Rule, and traces the story of a man faced with questions of his identity and his duty. This book, along with many others in the same genre, released this year, are an indication of the increased acceptance of same sex relationships in our society.
In The Shadows of Death by Sourabh Mukherjee
In spite of being essentially a crime thriller, In the Shadows of Death makes it to this list for its stark portrayal of a generation which has suddenly gained the right to be ambitious; a generation which has seen its parents struggle, yet has barely tasted the struggle itself, this struggle being replaced by a singular focus on fulfilling its own desires. While stereotypes are not broken in an obvious, in-your-face fashion, there is a subtle undercurrent of the changing societal structure and core ethics.
The Other End of the Corridor by Sujata Rajpal
This is the tale of a typical bored and beaten Indian housewife, whose dreams of becoming famous have been “kept in check” by her husband and in-laws. Only, a twist of fate brings her face to face with her past, and she decides to give life another chance. From the story of a shackled wife, it turns into the story of a woman who rediscovers her love for life and breaks free.
Which books do you think should have made it to this list? Tell us in the comments below.