Sawnet - Bookshelf -
Anu Kumar lives in Singapore, and and has previously lived in Mumbai and Delhi, where she worked for the Economic and Political Weekly. She has studied history and management and has been writing fiction for some time. Her first collection of short stories appeared in 2002 (In Search of a Raja and Other Stories). Her stories have appeared in the Little Magazine and she was one of the winners of the Commonwealth short story competition in 2004.
Anu's story 'The First Hello' won a special prize in the 2010 Commonwealth Short Story Competition. You can read it here (PDF).
Anu has her own website.
- It Takes a Murder
Hachette, India (2012)
- When Gautam Dogra is found murdered in his study one afternoon in the small hill station of Brooks Town, the police dismiss it as a relatively simple case. But Charlotte Hyde knows well that a murder never happens in a day -- it follows its own timeline. As Kerketta, Charlotte's old retainer, always said, a murder is written into your life at the very beginning. As Charlotte begins telling the story of Dogra's death, it soon becomes clear that his story can only be fully understood in the light of many other stories. Of her estranged daughter, Maddy, of the political climes in which they lived. Of lost hopes and lost loves, of small humiliations and disillusionments and, above all, of the slow incitement to violence that the terror of loss brings into quiet lives.
- Sawnet Review by Rumjhum Biswas
- Review in the Hindu
- Interview by Rumjhum Biswas
- Review by Moazzam Sheikh
- Review in The Book Outline
- Review in IBNlive
- Review in Mid-Day
- The Dollmaker's Island
Gyaana Books, India (2010)
- Do the elusive dollmakers, on a strange island forever adrift, really exist? What makes the new government and countless others suspicious of them? Are they simply waiting to return and claim their home once again?
Ronen Ghito would give his left hand to find out. But he needs Leela's help. And Leela is too preoccupied, sitting under the watchful eyes of a cagey government, waiting for her Shyam to turn up on this very mysterious isle that exists on no map.
When Leela does decide to co-operate with the government, she does it through long missives and emails, now that her voice is mysteriously lost too, revealing in bits and pieces lost myths and disquieting tales about the dollmakers from the time of the Mughal emperors to the present.
Alice-like in its feel and treatment, The Dollmakers' Island is an interesting perspective on the socio-political scenario in India through the ages. The narrative flows across and over time and space, breaking all barriers. The book is tongue-in-cheek, persistent, and fun to read.
- Sawnet Review by Maithreyi Krishnaraj
- Interview with Anu Kumar at helter-skelter
- Review in Femina
- Review in The Asian Age
- Letters for Paul
Mapin Publications, Bangalore. (2006)
- The violence that explodes in Aditi's life one sultry afternoon in a town where nothing ever happens, has unexpected and spiralling consequences. Letters for Paul is the story of Aditi's attempts to understand events in her life that seemingly have no answers. Her search for an answer to this is complicated with the other mysteries she is confronted with. Events that occurred long back in the past, others that have no answers and some that people refuse to answer. Aditi's efforts to understand her changing world, to make sense of the violence hidden in everyday monotony, leave Aditi sometimes convinced of her own powerlessness.
She persists with her search, however, conjuring up her own events or writing letters that remain unanswered-all to establish her own presence. Matters end in disgrace but Aditi does find success...of a kind.
- Sawnet Review by Swagata Deb
- Short review in the Telegraph.
- In search of a Raja and other stories
Writer's Workshop, Kolkata. (2002)
- A collection of short stories.