Unapologetic women. Inspiring women. Women who question societal norms. Women who lead from the front. Historical figures who have shaped the modern Indian woman of today who challenges patriarchy on a daily basis.
When it comes to empowering Indian literature, there are often the usual suspects. Nothing against them, but there are also innumerable books that often slip under the radar.
All through 2022 as a part of Blogchatter‘s #CauseAChatter campaign, I have been sharing book recommendations across a range of causes. Mental health, LGBTQIA+, disability, and women’s empowerment. Today I have for you my favorite reads this year. Books I cannot recommend enough. Lesser known books that are a must-read.
Lioness of Punjab
by Anita Jari Kharbanda
“I would not accept my fate as a woman, left behind in the villages to mourn. I was going to fight.” When Mai Bhago, all of 18 years, lead an army of Sikh soldiers against the Mughals.
Sikh history is replete with fierce women warriors. Lioness of Punjab is the story of Mai Bhago or Mata Bhag Kaur who chose the sword for her unwavering loyalty and devotion to her people and her faith.
One of my favorite reads this year, I highly recommend you pick it up. I am looking forward to sharing a complete review soon.
Disobedient Girls (The Story Project Book 8)
Edited by Snigdha Basu
I came across The Story Project all thanks to our lovely Sonia Dogra @ A Hundred Quills. An author whose works I never miss. Disobedient Girls – the whole series in fact – is one such book that often misses all the hype and deserves more love.
A collection of short stories and poems that celebrate brave and outspoken women. From an uneducated mother who wishes a better life for her daughter to the feminist retelling of Taming of the Shrew to Abbakka Chowta who history seems to have forgotten.
Be sure to check out the video links at the end of the book for panel discussions. Their latest book, Devi, is already on my TBR.Empowering Indian Literature That Inspires: My Favorite Picks From 2022 @CindyAnnDSilva @nooranand #BlogaberryDazzle #BohoPonderings Click To Tweet
Aanandi by Jyoti Jha (Hindi)
The story of a remarkable young girl. An inspiring story spanning decades of a determined woman to be self-reliant. Indeed an illustrative symbol of woman empowerment. A story so rooted in India that deserved to be told in Hindi.
India has a rich history of regional literature and yet translated pop-culture books are often promoted more. One of my pet peeves. If you enjoy reading books in Hindi, I highly recommend you pick Aanandi by Jyoti Jha. And if you enjoy audiobooks, it is available at Storytel. Books narrated by the authors themselves is always such a treat!
by Anand Neelakantan
Sometimes you have a book on your TBR for a while that you never get around to reading. And when you do, you wonder why you hadn’t picked it earlier. Valmiki’s Women has been one such book for me this year.
A peek into the minds of characters such as Shanta (Ram’s sister), Kaikeyi, Manthara, Surpanakha, and Tataka. And the repercussions of their actions. A refreshing read, I was pleasantly surprised that the author did not go the tried and tested way of painting the good all-black to absolve the antagonists of the sins. Do pick it up if you haven’t already.
Apart from the books above, here are a few more to add to your TBR. Books I have read over the years. A cross-section of genres, languages, and writings with one common thread. Empowering literature that inspires.Have you read the books above or have recommendations for me? Do share about them in the comments below.
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