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Friday, September 23, 2011

On The Cover: Known Turf by author Annie Zaidi

Ok, so since I picked up this interesting book to read, I might as well share the cover jacket details with you here. The book is Known Turf and the author is Annie Zaidi. This again is a complimentary review copy sent to me by Crossword for the promotion of their Vodafone Crossword Book Award 2010 and is NOT a purchased copy.

Front cover:

'I cannot boast of having a secular interest in lawlessness per se, but as far as dacoits are concerned, it is true that I was fascinated, probably on account of having watched too many Hindi movies: horses, high drama and all that. Also, in a corner of my mind lay buried a story my grandmother used to tell me about my great-grandfather and a dacoit called Sultana daaku.....'

Here's whats there on the cover jacket:

'Known Turf: Bantering with bandits and other true tales

Annie Zaidi combines reportage with a personal narrative that goes into places we may know of, but very rarely visit. However, it is the stories of humble folk - tortured by hunger, discriminated against for reasons of caste or gender - that linger.

Whether it is analyzing banditry or developing a personal philosophy through tea, Known Turf is a book that will engage you, surprise you and shock you. But it must be read.

'Annie Zaidi tells these stories from different parts of India with compassion, detail and importantly, with a gentle humour. The reports and conversations are very well spaced. Often, the very funny conversations, which so well capture the flavour of non-metro India, set you up for a tale of sudden brutality. The stories on dalits in the Punjab easily rank amongst the best done on the subject. This author sketches the personality of her subjects with warmth and sympathy and humour, but minus the cliches that often make such stories a heavy read. The stories span a massive range, from little bus and road journeys with engaging portraits, to child hunger, debt, bondage, untouchability, religious tension and conflict and crimes against women. Above all, it is the quality of the story-telling that grips you. A beautifully written book.' - P. Sainath

'Annie Zaidi combines a reporter's on-the-spot perception and a writer's reflection and language to etch interesting, nuanced portraits of that half-mythical being in the throes of constant change: contemporary India.' - Tabish Khair

You can get your discounted copy directly through Crossword by clicking here:

And if you wish to order on Amazon, visit here:

- Debolina Raja Gupta