Genre: Literary Fiction
Publisher: BooksClinic Publishing / Zankar
Publication Date: January 1, 2021
Buy at: Buy at BooksClinic | Buy at Amazon | Listen at Storytel | Add to Goodreads
Summary and Story
“An illustrative symbol of women empowerment – The CEO Magazine”. That is what perfectly defines Aanandi by Jyoti Jha. The story of a remarkable young girl. An inspiring story of a determined woman to be self-reliant.
Beginning in a small village in Bihar, it is a story spanning decades as Aanadi battles cultural and economic limitations with little or no support. Rising above poverty with single-minded determination using education and self-reliance. Narrated in episodic chapters that are standalone short stories woven together effortlessly.
If you have been following me for a while, you would know that I have always loved picking books in Hindi. There is indeed a special charm of reading a book in your own language. And I have also tried to introduce (and re-introduce) English book readers to Hindi literature via my blog.
Ever since I heard of Aanandi by Jyoti Jha in 2021, I had been keen to pick up her book. I had first met the author (virtually) during the Blogchatter A2Z 2020 as she shared a travelogue that she went ahead to compile in a book, Around the World Through My Lens. When I found that the book was available on Storytel as an audiobook, I picked it up instantly.
The author’s Hindi literature debut has taken the literary world by storm. A story that is as much about the state of women in India from the 1960s to the modern-day as it is about Aanandi. A story so rooted in India deserved to be told in Hindi. The writing is fluid and immersive. Listening to an author narrate her own book is always a treat.
Aanandi’s character is not without fault. She does make compromises putting her own health at risk. Turning a blind eye to maintain peace in the family.
The book picks on a horde of topics well woven into the narrative. Women empowerment, education opportunities, social limitations, misogyny, and lack of reproductive rights.
Let’s be honest. There is indeed a dearth of good Hindi and regional literature. The reason has more to do with the economics and the lack of readership. It breaks my heart to see translated pop-culture books considered the best ones in Hindi when there are such excellent books out there. As long as we have authors like Jyoti Jha, modern Hindi literature is in good hands.
If you enjoy reading Hindi books, I highly recommend you pick Aanandi. And if you enjoy audiobooks, it is available at Storytel and is such a treat.
About the Author
An HR-turned-Author, Jyoti Jha is an MBA by qualification and has been associated with corporates like Infosys and Whirlpool in the past. After almost a decade of globe-trotting, she pursued her compelling passion of expressing through words and embarked upon the journey of exploring the field of literature.
An esteemed winner of ‘The Times of India Write India Season 3’, she has authored the books, ‘The Realms of Human Emotions’, ‘Around The World Through My Lens’, and ‘Aanandi‘. Awarded ‘Savitribai Phule Rashtriya Samman’ on International Women’s Day, and having featured as ‘Iconic Authors 2022’ by Aesthetics International, she has been awarded as ‘Author of the year’ in The LIT FEST 2020, and has won the title ‘Best Reviewer of the year 2020 and 2021’ by The Literary Mirror.
A literary critic, columnist, and lyricist, she has been a proud panelist and guest speaker in talk shows at prestigious institutions like IIM Lucknow, IIT Delhi, IIT Jammu, and Christ College. Having been interviewed and featured at one of the top literary journals of the country, Jyoti has been an honorable jury member at the Literary Club, IIT BHU for Storytelling, and an honorable guest at Kashiyatra, IIT BHU, Varanasi for Hindi Poetry. She has been an esteemed guest speaker and host at a unique talk show ‘The Lit Talks’ on a reputable OTT Platform. Her debut Hindi novel ‘Aanandi’ has been featured at the Pune International Literary Festival (PILF) 2021.