If you’ve explored this blog beyond the rather more obvious cinema-related content, you’d probably know that I am also a writer of short stories and novels. Most people who’ve read my books so far know me as the creator of the 17th century Mughal detective Muzaffar Jang. Some may also have read my collection of black humour short stories, My Lawfully Wedded Husband.
It’s time, therefore, to announce that there’s another side to Madhulika Liddle too: a rather more sombre side, a side that writes something beyond genre fiction.
My latest book, Woman to Woman: Stories is a collection of short stories, all of which are women-centric. Different types of women. Women who are lonely and aching for company. Women who give of all they have, of all that really matters: empathy and understanding. Women who are obsessed with jewellery, women who battle everything from domineering husbands to terrorism.
The first person to buy this book and begin reading it asked me in a mail (she’d only read the first three stories in the collection by then), “Are all the stories this disturbing?”
No, I replied. Yes, some are grim, because in a society that is inherently patriarchal and treats women as second class citizens—if that—there are bound to be issues that would be highlighted in stories that centre round women. Rape. Bride trafficking. The easy deciding of a girl’s life, her body, her very existence, without the girl herself having any say in the matter. Oppression, even when it is disguised as fatherly or brotherly or husbandly concern.
But that isn’t all, because not all women are just victims. There are some who rise above themselves and above their own circumstances to be a guiding light and a shoulder to cry on for others. There are those who show pure and not-so-simple courage in the face of death itself. There are those who, having been felled and trampled into the earth, get back on their feet and make a life for themselves.
Woman to Woman: Stories brings together twelve stories about women of different sorts. Women I have known, women who are me in some way or the other.
Please buy, gift to a friend, read. The book is available in paperback form as well as a Kindle edition. You can buy it on these sites (the links below lead directly to the book page):
And yes, please do spread the word! Tell your friends and relatives, post a review on Amazon or Goodreads (or both, if you would be so kind). Tell me what you think.
Congratulations Madhu! I just ordered my copy on Amazon and while it’s downloading now I wanted to congratulate on yet another purposeful publication..
I am off to reading it now… I will be back..
Thank you so much for buying it, Ashish! I do hope you like the stories.
I have read a few stories and yes they are painful and I am struggling to not be an ostrich.. These feel very real to the extent that one can feel the impact so very clearly. You have done a great job by writing these because people should not ignore what goes on in real life.
This book is all the more relevant in light of these stories that are surfacing about powerful men from Trump to Harvey Weinstein a few months ago to Charlie Rose and Matt Lauer this week about how they have exploited women including some well known celebrities who stayed quiet for years as they didn’t think anyone would believe them. It is absurd to imagine how this has gone on for so long and has not yet stopped. I am happy in a way that it’s all coming out now and there is clearly more openness for women to come out and say what actually happened. It is shocking to see how women are still treated like second class citizens in this day and age and in developed countries like America. So much for gender equality claims..
This is perhaps your most meaningful work that I have read so far.. Congratulations again..
Ashish, thank you so much. Someone else was remarking that they ‘missed Muzaffar Jang’, to which all I had to say was that this too is a side of me: I am deeply sensitive to all the injustice that goes on around me and so a lot of the short stories I write reflect that. I am so glad you could appreciate that – and yes, these are the sort of issues that cannot (and should not) be ignored any more. It’s been going on far too long.
Take heart. Not all the stories are quite as grim as the first two. ;-)
Me too ! My salutes to you for dealing with a subject that is close to my heart and that has always remained relevant over the centuries !
Shall come back after reading the book.
Thank you so much! I do hope you like the book, and I look forward to hearing from you.
Yes!! Ordered. :)
Thank you, Anu! I had been meaning to post this bit of news earlier – the book was formally released last weekend – but decided it was better until I could offer links to buy it online. :-)
I hope you like it, Anu.
sounds so very interesting Madhuji!
All The Best!
I’m sorry, I haven’t read your previous books. But, now I’ll search for your present book in Pune. (I usually don’t buy anything online)
It would reach there soon, I hope.
I must catch your older books as well. I’m a book worm, and used to read a lot of books earlier. But now I don’t get enough time to read books at peace.
But I shall read this one for sure.
Great! Thanks. I hope you like the book(s)!
Hi Madhu, just to let you know that I have bought, read, and reviewed Woman to woman on Letstakaboutbollywood! You’re invited to go and read it!
I just saw this, Yves, since I was out of town. Thank you so very, very much. Will go off to read your review after this.
Hello! I really enjoyed your Book. I suggest others also to read this book.
Thank you so much!