Sam is a war photographer famous for her hauntingly beautiful pictures of the dead. After a particularly gruelling assignment, she checks into an expensive hotel. Unfortunately she has chosen the exact moment terrorists attack the hotel. Abhi, the hotel manager, begs her to stay quiet and stay put.
Abhi has never wanted to be a hero; a disappointment to his army father and army brother. He thought he'd come to a safe haven at the hotel, a place where he could be himself. Now stuck inside the sealed off manager's office in the middle of a terrorist attack, he's desperately trying to keep all those still alive safe. His lover Dieter is amongst the hostages in the bar and the photographer Sam, refusing to stay in her room, is roaming through the hotel taking pictures, potentially coming face to face with the terrorists at any moment.
A small child Billy is found alive under the bodies of his dead parents and Abhi has to persuade the non-maternal Sam to bring him back to her room. He's hurt and Sam has no clue how to look after a child. As the tension mounts and more people are killed, the bond between Sam and Abhi, between Sam and Billy, grows. If any of them get out alive, none of them will ever be the same.
Krishna has been in New York, making documentaries. But, following the death of her grandmother, Krishna returns to her home village in a part of India so feudal, almost medieval in its ways, that, in spite of her essential urbanity and modernity, she must make concessions to tradition. A strange bequest awaits Krishna upon her return. From beyond the grave, Dadiji directs Krishna to enact her dharma (duty), which, it transpires, is to document on film the last days of Damayanti, a strong-minded lawyer who, upon the death of her husband, will commit sati.
Krishna, the “warrior” and the first girl child to be born to her family in five centuries, finds herself caught between the modern world of loose ties and casual relationships (as personified by her westernised lover, Natchek), and the older ties of blood and obligation, where honour transcends love. Always a rebel, Krishna has to confront the fact that her dharma comprises an act as conforming and backward as it is subversive…
'Sunny Singh’s first novel Nani’s Book of Suicides was dominated by the narrator’s Nani (maternal grandmother), tormenting her with ‘stories of times gone by’, emphasizing the Rajput sense of honour. In Singh’s second novel With Krishna’s Eyes the protagonist, Krishna, loves her ‘Dadiji’ (paternal grandmother), who has her own concept of honour. In a society where female infanticide and foeticide is rampant, the old woman prays and conducts sacrifices for the birth of a daughter to her eldest son. She believes that a girl should have the same educational opportunities as a boy; when Krishna wants to go to New York for film studies, she encourages her. When she dies, she leaves detailed instructions for Krishna: she is to make a documentary of the last days of Damayanti, a lawyer, who is planning to commit sati. Krishna has to go back to her feudal roots, yet fulfil her aspirations as a modern woman. The novelist presents a vivid picture of rural India, and the villagers’ faith in their feudal master.' Journal of Commonwealth Literature
‘The rich anecdotes and colour provide profound insight into family loyalty, the heavy weight of the past and the encounter with tradition. The emotion of rediscovering one’s roots and the demand for a return to a traditional lifestyle, threatened with extinction by political correctness. Krishna is a young woman searching for her identity while being faithful to the values of her time. The novel is entirely credible and contains characters so well painted that they are genuinely truthful.’ ABC
‘The author succeeds as a successful Bollywood film does. One is eager to reach the climax. Krishna, torn between the rebel and the traditional, the disgust of what her family and clan so strongly believes in and the fear of losing them all, feels so real that one could almost touch her.’ Marie Claire
Rupa Books India
Ediciones El Cobre Spain
Editions Philippe Picquier France
L'Ancora del Mediterraneo Italy
Mono I Manjana Serbia
Material: finished copies of Indian and Spanish edition (293pp).
WINNER OF THE MAR DE LETRAS PRIZE in Spain
Sammie, the cocaine-snorting international wanderer who moves from a small town childhood in India to Mexico, is linked inextricably to mythical women in a debut novel that embodies Hindu tradition and culture, which left untouched by the Enlightenment, makes no distinction between the real and the magical. But the woman who most influences Sammie is Nani, her frail and ruthless grandmother, who is a witch with the power to enter dreams and shape them. A first novel of exceptional talent, Nani’s Book of Suicides explores the cultural identity of an Indian woman through a fund of myths, family lore and contemporary reality.
‘A first novel of rare scope and power.’ Hindustan Times
'The idea behind Suicides is undeniably excellent... She definitely has the talent.' The Indian Express
'Sunny Singh... has pioneered a path-taking novel...' The Asian Age
'Her first novel is a mix of aromas, like breathing the air of the souk.' Dolores Massot ABC
'The author sees the world from the prism of three cultures... The heroine’s journey across several continents becomes an inner journey towards an individual freedom that crosses the whirlwind of sex and drugs... Nani’s Book of Suicides articulated new demands in a way that bypasses the equality of sexes and has its roots instead in the difference.' Matias Nespolo, El Mundo
'This staggering claim for the novel as metaphor for dreams…' Victor Andresco quoted by Diego Ortiz in El Faro
'The book exudes a sexual confidence not to be attributed solely to the cosmopolitan personality of Sunny Singh; it is rooted in traditional Indian painting, sculpture and writing… and recalls the admirable lack of amatory reserve of the heroines of that marvellous 11th century Sanskrit classic, ‘Tales of the Vampire’.' Vicente Molina Foix in El País
Ediciones El Cobre Spain
Material: finished copies (247 pages).