Anukrti Upadhyay is the author of Bhaunri and Daura, two books inspired by folklore from Rajasthan. Upadhyay builds an eerie world, with strong feminine characters and a story powerful enough to touch your heart and leave behind an impression that is here to stay for a really long time. Her upcoming novel, Kintsugi is available for pre-order.
I requested Anukrti to recommend 5 of her all-time favourite books and she picked the following:
1. Rashomon and Seventeen Other Stories by Ryunosuke Akutagawa– A Japanese modern master, Ryumosuke’s stories have a touch of madness, derived from his real-life tragedies. Rashomon and Seventeen Other Stories is a collection of stories, both personal and fictional, with a touch of surrealism, vivid imagery and cynicism.
2. Sanshiro by Natsume Soseki– A coming-of-age novel set in Tokyo, Sanshiro is a novel about a boy trying to fit into the modern Japanese culture in the early 20th century. Shanshiro’s thoughts and ideals clashed with society multiple times, especially with Mineko, a fiercely independent woman who paid no heed to old customs. Sanshiro is a thought-provoking book that provides a perspective to the ever-changing social dynamics.
3. Death in Midsummer and Other Stories by Yukio Mishima– 9 of the finest short stories by one of the finest writers in Japan, Death in Midsummer and Other Stories is a collection that will grab your attention with its exquisite storytelling.
4. Palm of Hand Stories by Yasunari Kawabata- Winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, Kawabata’s short stories are complex, mostly dealing with the idiosyncrasies of human nature. In this collection, the author focusses on emotions such as love, longing and loneliness.
5. A Cat, a Man and Two Women by Junichiro Tanizaki– A love triangle with a hint of comedy, A Cat, a Man and Two Women is about a couple fighting over the custody of their beloved cat. It is also a social commentary that is brilliantly wrapped up by two flawed characters who would do anything for the cat they love.