Book House

The Aleph 'Olio' Series | Fine Writing on Diverse Themes

One of the meanings of the word ‘olio’ is ‘a miscellany’. The publisher, Aleph Book Company, has come out with a new book series called Aleph ‘Olio’, which contains a mélange of the finest writing to be had on a variety of Indian themes—the great cities, aspects of Indian culture and civilization, uniquely Indian phenomena. The publisher’s website says, “Filled with insights and haunting evocations of a country of unrivalled complexity, beauty, tragedy and mystery, each Aleph Olio book presents India in ways that it has seldom been seen before.”
This book series contains a potpourri of writings, with common themes being explored in a volume by a varied group of writers. So in the book “Notes from the Hinterland”, we have writings about rural and mofussil India by the urbane, suave speaker of quintessential Queen’s English (which all of us so adore) Shashi Tharoor, our favourite and ‘the person in love with the hills’ Ruskin Bond, and R.K. Narayan of ‘Malgudi Days’ fame. Another author featured in this book is Madhuri Vijay, winner of this year’s JCB Prize for Literature.
Khushwant Singh, William Dalrymple, Malvika Singh, and Pamela Timms write about the spirit of Delhi in another book from the collection. However, different books in this series take on different topics, some of them including stories from rural India, discourses about love or the tales about kings.
Five books from this assorted collection are out, and there will also be more upcoming books in this series.
Scroll down to have a look on these titles, and if they interest you, add them to your reading list.

Love and Lust: Stories and Essays


The powerful stories and sketches in this volume probe the mysteries of love and the perils and ecstasies of sexual desire.
Read more about the book here.
You can buy this book from here.
 

Notes from the Hinterland: Stories and Essays


India’s small towns and villages have often inspired its finest writing and this is exemplified by the stories and the true-life accounts in this book.
Read more about the book here.
You can buy this book from here.
 

In A Violent Land


This book contains some of the best fiction and non-fiction that has been written on the violence that permeates every layer of Indian society.
Read more about the book here.
You can buy this book from here.
 

The Essence of Delhi


The Essence of Delhi captures the ‘riches and horrors’ (in William Dalrymple’s phrase) of the myriad cities of Delhi, beginning with the first one established by Suraj Pal, a Tomar Rajput, at the edge of the Aravalli Hills.
Read more about the book here.
You can buy the book from here.
 

The Book of Indian Kings: Stories and Essays


This book comprises stories and essays about some of the greatest rulers and statesmen in the history of India. It features writings on the Mauryan emperor Ashoka, Emperor Akbar, Maharaja Ranjit Singh, Bahadur Shah Zafar, Tipu Sultan, Chhatrapati Shivaji, and Krishnadeva Raya.
Read more about the book here.
You can buy this book from here.

 

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