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Longlisted Penguin Books for the Tata Literature Live Book Awards 2023!

We are thrilled to announce the longlisted works from Penguin Books for Tata Literature Live Book Awards 2023. These remarkable books, spanning a wide range of genres and themes, have captivated readers with their narratives that explore love, family, identity, history, science, and societal transformation. Join us in celebrating these exceptional authors and their stories that have earned them a place on the prestigious longlist.



Fear and Lovely
Fear and Lovely || Anjana Appachana

Mallika is a painfully shy young woman growing up in the heart of a close-knit, sometimes stifling New Delhi colony. Though she is surrounded by love, her life is complicated by secrets that she, her mother and her aunt work hard to keep.
After suffering a trauma aged nineteen, Mallika loses three days of her memory and slowly spirals into a deep depression. She must find a way out of this abyss, back to herself and those she cares about. But she must also hide her mental illness from her community.
In a narrative that unfolds elliptically from the perspectives of Mallika and the seven people closest to her, the astonishing story of these characters’ lives emerges. For Mallika’s family, childhood friends and the two men she loves are also hiding truths. As each gives voice to contending with their own struggles, secrets and silences shatter.


Shurjo's Clan
Shurjo’s Clan || Iffat Nawaz

Spanning decades, from the forced migration of Bengalis to East Pakistan in 1947, through the 1971 liberation war, the wave of immigrants to the West in the 1980s, and a final return, Iffat Nawaz’s lyrical and evocative prose marks the arrival of a distinctive voice, one that unravels questions of grief, belonging, identity, and family with delightful imaginativeness and devastating insight. With its mesmerising balance between inexplicable otherworldliness and undeniable reality, this debut novel asks, above all, how we can honour the past without letting its wounds destroy us.


Writer, Rebel, Soldier, Lover
Writer, Rebel, Soldier, Lover || Akshaya Mukul

Writer, Rebel, Soldier, Lover features a formidable cast of characters: from writers like Premchand, Phanishwarnath Renu, Raja Rao, Mulk Raj Anand and Josephine Miles to Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, revolutionary Chandra Shekhar Azad and actor Balraj Sahni. And its landscapes stretch from British jails, an intellectually robust Allahabad and modern-day Delhi to monasteries in Europe, the homes of Agyeya’s friends in the Himalayas and universities in
the US. This book is a magnificent examination of Agyeya’s civilizational enterprise.

Ambitious and scholarly, Writer, Rebel, Soldier, Lover is also an unputdownable, whirlwind of a read.


The Song of the Cell
The Song of the Cell || Siddhartha Mukherjee

From Pulitzer Prize-winning and #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Emperor of All Maladies and The GeneThe Song of The Cell is the third book in this extraordinary writer’s exploration of what it means to be human-rich with Siddhartha Mukherjee’s revelatory and exhilarating stories of scientists, doctors, and all the patients whose lives may be saved by their work.

In The Song of the Cell, Mukherjee tells the story of how scientists discovered cells, began to understand them, and are now using that knowledge to create new humans. He seduces readers with writing so vivid, lucid, and suspenseful that complex science becomes thrilling. Told in six parts, laced with Mukherjee’s own experience as a researcher, doctor, and prolific reader, The Song of the Cell is both panoramic and intimate-a masterpiece.


Against all odds
Against all odds || S. ‘Kris’ Gopalakrishnan, N. Dayasindhu, Krishnan Narayanan

Against All Odds: The IT Story of India is an insider’s account and an anecdote-rich history of Indian IT over the last six decades. It taps into the first-hand experiences of Kris Gopalakrishnan and fifty other stalwarts
who built and shaped the IT industry. This is a tale of persistence and resilience, of foresight, of planning and being ready when luck knocks on the door, of a spirit of adventure and, above all, of an abiding sense of faith in technology and the belief that it would do good for India. It is a tale of triumph, and the best is yet to come!


Forks in the Road
Forks in the Road || C. Rangarajan

In Forks in the Road, the veteran economist and policymaker provides a captivating account of his professional journey, starting with his purely accidental entry into the RBI in 1982. Rangarajan, regarded as one of the tallest figures in the history of India’s economic reforms, provides crucial insights into the role he played as part of the team which initiated far-reaching reforms in India’s economy in the early 1990s. The path-breaking reforms that he implemented during his tenure as governor of RBI included deregulation of interest rates, strengthening of the banking system by a gradual tightening of prudential norms, creation and nurturing of financial markets, giving them depth and vibrancy, shifting to market-determined exchange rates, making the rupee convertible on the current account and the cessation of automatic monetization of budget deficit.



Working To Restore
Working To Restore || Esha Chhabra

Working to Restore examines revolutionary approaches in nine areas: agriculture, waste, supply chain, inclusivity for the collective good, women in the workforce, travel, health, energy, and finance. The companies profiled are solving global issues: promoting responsible production and consumption, creating equitable opportunities for all, encouraging climate action, and more. Chhabra highlights how their work moves beyond the greenwashed idea of ‘sustainability’ into a new era of regeneration and restoration.

Brand Communication for beginners

Nine Timeless Nuggets is a knowledge accelerator for young marketers and an absorbing update for experienced ones. Arranged in three sections-‘How to Think of People’, ‘How to Craft Your Brand’ and ‘How to Go to Market’-the book casts new light on eternal marketing fundamentals and makes us rethink some basic questions.

In the book, Bharat Bambawale proposes new models for customer motivation, customer relationship and twenty-first-century brand building. Together, these models can provide a strong foundation to any brand’s marketing strategy. Here’s a short excerpt from the book on the importance of brand communication for businesses.


Many Indian brands focus communication on a single aspect, or at best on a few aspects related to a central concern: acquiring customers. A reason for this is that companies are split into departments. Marketing’s job is often only to bring customers through the door; meeting their needs might fall into the hands of operations, managing their complaints in the hands of customer service and so on. Each department will have a head and its own people, as well as its own objectives and performance measures, and thus silos are created. While everyone is working for the success of the brand and company, common measurements of customer satisfaction elude the team, and with it a comprehensive communication plan across the entire customer journey.

Any customer-brand relationship journey has four elements: discovery, companionship, exclusivity and belonging. During discovery, a customer is finding out about you, a brand she doesn’t know or knows only a little. She might be exploring a curiosity about a new category, one she hasn’t participated in before, through you. In companionship, a customer is spending time with your brand as she expands her research, but she is also spending time with other brands. She is making comparisons, asking for advice and looking at reviews by previous users. In exclusivity, she is making a choice in favour of your brand. This might seem like a moment of triumph for the brand, a completion of the acquisition, but in actual fact this is where the hard work begins. Because when a customer chooses your brand, she lays all her expectations from the category at your brand’s door. Your onboarding has to be great, as well as your subsequent actions. Most important, your brand must now meet pretty much all her expectations from the category, even those that might not be among the strengths of your brand. Finally there’s belonging, where the customer is so happy and fulfilled by your brand that she repeats her business with you or makes your brand a regular part of her customer journey.

front cover of Nine Timeless Nuggets
Nine Timeless Nuggets || Bharat Bambawale


Brand communication for each of these stages is different. What a brand must say and do during the discovery stage is very different from what it must say and do during the companionship, exclusivity or belonging stages. Discovery will take you into online search engine optimization and search engine marketing (SEO and SEM), along with perhaps a TV ad, a few pay-per-click ads and so on. Companionship will take you into comparison sites, influencer recommendations, customer reviews. Exclusivity will take you into emails, phone calls and complaint management. Belonging could take you into special offers and celebratory discounts.

If a brand takes a holistic view of the customer-brand relationship journey, great things will come to it. If it takes a siloed view, the number of not-so-happy customers is likely to be high.


Nine Timeless Nuggets provides a 2020 perspective on timeless marketing ideas.


The Consolidators: An Excerpt

‘The Consolidators’ by Prince Mathews Thomas tells the story of seven second-generation entrepreneurs who display an arresting imagination and interest in evolving the business they inherited from their fathers.
Here’s an excerpt from the book which highlights Abhishek Khaitan’s tussle between one’s own desired profession vs the one chosen by the parents.
In many ways, the situation that Abhishek found himself in upon returning home from his studies in Bengaluru was similar to what his father Lalit had faced many years ago. The senior Khaitan too had harboured dreams of higher studies. ‘In those days there were two choices for us—law or chartered accountancy. I wanted to do law,’ he says.
The larger Khaitan families had quite a few eminent lawyers, including Devi Prasad Khaitan, founder of Khaitan & Co, the country’s third largest law firm, which completed a century of practice in 2010. Devi Prasad was part of the drafting committee that prepared the Constitution of India.
But being the oldest among his brothers and cousins, Lalit was asked by his father and uncle to study commerce at St. Xavier’s College in Kolkata, and at the same time join the family business. So after completing his classes for the day, Lalit would head to the bakery or the restaurant near Park Street that the family owned.
And then he was married at nineteen.
This—joining the family business and marrying early—was the norm in Marwari families. It was a tradition that had stood the test of time.
Many among the following generations of the family became leading lawyers, cementing the legacy of the Khaitan family in the country’s legal fraternity. A few of the Khaitans chose to do business and ventured into several industries—education, tea, batteries, cinema, restaurants, fertilizers and chemicals. Lalit’s father, G.N. Khaitan, also chose to do business.
Along with his brother, G.N. dabbled in several businesses— furniture, soap making, bakery, restaurants and a general provisions store. ‘We were a joint family. We were nine children living under the same roof [we were four brothers and a sister, and uncle had a daughter and three sons.Everything was done jointly, everything was shared. And we would all even sleep together in the same room. We didn’t have much money and were just a little above middle-class, or an upper middle-class family,’ says Lalit.
His father, called Gajju or Gajanand by his friends, was a well-known personality in Kolkata’s vibrant social circle. He had headed several institutions, including business bodies such as the Bharat Chamber of Commerce, Export Council of Engineering, and other organizations like the Indian Red Cross Society, and some popular clubs like Rajasthan Club and Bengal Rowing Club.
‘He used to be known for his bow tie. He never wore a regular tie in his life. He was very well connected, even in Bollywood. Once, he arranged a cricket match in Kolkata that had most of the biggest Bollywood names, including Raj Kapoor, attending. Shailesh Khaitan, my youngest brother, remembers the actor telling my father, “Khaitan sahib, you have got the whole of Bollywood here. If the plane crashes, Bollywood is dead”.’
Actor Pran, the legendary villain of Indian cinema, and often more popular than the heroes, was a close friend. ‘He would often drop by at our house in Kolkata. Once he was visiting after Zanjeer (a film that famously starred Amitabh Bachchan and Jaya Bhaduri) had released. I remarked that Amitabh had done a great job. Pran retorted, “What did he do? I did everything!”’
Grab your copy of The Consolidators now!
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6 Luminous Lessons from Dharmashastras to Look Out For

Business law in medieval and early modern India developed within the voluminous and multifaceted texts called the Dharmashastras. These texts laid down rules for merchants, traders, guilds, farmers, and individuals in terms of the complex religious, legal, and moral ideal of dharma.
The Dharma of Business – an exciting new book by Donald R. Davis, Jr. – provides a new perspective on commercial law in this period. It makes a compelling case for the relevance of the dharma of business to our own time.
Here are six lessons from Dharmashastras that are relevant in our modern age.
The Dharma of an Employee
The Dharma of Business 01
The Dharma of an Employer
The Dharma of Business 02
When not putting one’s best foot forward
The Dharma of Business 03
The Culture of Rewarding Excellence
The Dharma of Business 04
Tax for Welfare
The Dharma of Business 05
Greed, the Destroyer
The Dharma of Business 06
Want to apply ancient wisdom to your own work and issues at workplace? Get The Dharma of Business here!
The Dharma of Business

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