The Shelf: New in nonfiction this month
THE NUTMEG'S CURSE: Parables for A Climate in Crisis
In his latest commentary on the politics of climate change, Amitav Ghosh, author of Gun Island and The Great Derangement (2016), traces the fraught history of the nutmeg hailing from the indigenous communities of Banda Islands. Nutmegs originated from these volcanic islands east of Java, in the 18th century, until European traders colonised the trade, blocking the indigenous communities' access to their own resources. Ghosh incorporates discussions on climate change, the migrant crisis, and "animist spirituality of indigenous communities" to argue that this violent, colonial tendency of abusing human life and the environment shapes geopolitics even today.
TAGORE AND GANDHI: Walking Alone, Walking Together
Aleph Book Company
Rudrangshu Mukherjee is Chancellor and Professor of History at Ashoka University, having been awarded a DPhil in Modern History by the University of Oxford and having taught at Calcutta University, Princeton University, University of Manchester University, and the University of California, Santa Cruz. Following his previous books on the Bengal Revolt of 1857 and on Jawaharlal Nehru, among others, this latest studies the close relationship between Rabindranath Tagore and Mahatma Gandhi. Both subjects were born in 1860, and developed a friendship based on the tumultuous times of the 1920s and '30s. Mining through their correspondence, Mukherjee explores the differences in their writings and the beliefs that united the two men.
Rebecca Solnit's views on feminism, social change, and climate change—expressed through works such as Men Explain Things To Me, Recollections of My Nonexistence, and A Paradise Built in Hell—are famously fearless. In Orwell's Roses, Solnit revisits George Orwell's deep connection with gardening and through it weaves a narrative on Stalinism, the Spanish Civil War, colonialism and imperialism, and the exploitative rose industry in Colombia patronised by the American market.
SHELF LIFE: Chronicles of A Cairo Bookseller
Naida Wassef talks about establishing a "a fiercely independent" bookstore with her sister, Hind and their friend, Nihal in this memoir. The chronicle divulges humorous stories about what it meant for three women to have founded and managed Diwan with no business degree and little knowledge of management in a climate of severe government mismanagement, and carried it to a reverberating success all across Egypt.
Bourdain: The Definitive Oral Biography
A first close look at the "inimitable man who had dedicated his life to traveling nearly everywhere", this book chronicles the life of Anthony Bourdain. From his childhood to his emergence as a TV personality and a writer, we get a look at the multifaceted man—"his motivations, his ambivalence, his vulnerability, his blind spots, and his brilliance"— as told by his former friends, colleagues and family.
Neoliberal Development In Bangladesh: People on the Margins
Mohammad Tanzimuddin Khan, Mohammad Sajjadur Rahman (eds.)
The University Press Limited
The collection of essays examine the idea that while 'market-directed' development in Bangladesh can bring about certain heights of economic growth, it can also negatively affect the quality of life, ecology and the political climate of the nation. Dubbed as a 'developmental paradox', Bangladesh has seen recognisable shifts; the editors aim to focus on how neoliberalism has ushered these transformations with particular focus on free market conditions, and also discuss subjects like microfinance, energy, higher education, agriculture, gender and, corruption in the country.
For more book-related news and views, read and follow Daily Star Books on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.