Mary Cowper reviews “Sanchita Karma”

Cowper’s Bookshelf

Sanchita Karma and Other Tales of Ethics and Choice from India
K. V. Dominic
Modern History Press
9781615993949, $25.95, HC, 146pp,

Synopsis: K.V. Dominic is one of India’s leading contemporary English poets. In “Sanchita Karma and Other Tales of Ethics and Choice from India” he takes his readers on a trip to India in an anthology of his original short stories.

Dominic’s love for his native country is exposed through stories that cover a range of humanistic concerns, including women’s empowerment, the natural environment, government and corruption, the education system, crime, the power of compassion and the question of how much influence we have in our own destinies.

Critique: Each of these twenty carefully crafted and thoroughly engaging short stories is a true literary gem. Of special note is the unusual step of including four reviews collected in a section called ‘Commentary and Criticism’. While very highly recommended for community, college, and university library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that “Sanchita Karma and Other Tales of Ethics and Choice from India” is also available in a paperback edition (9781615993932, $15.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $3.03).

Mary Cowper, Reviewer

Sweta Srivastava Vikram – Voice of the Year 2018!

Modern History Press is proud to announce that its latest fiction title Louisiana Catch by author and speaker Sweta Srivastava Vikram has been nominated for a Voices of the Year (VOTY) Award at BlogHer.- Sweta S. Vikram's 'Louisiana Catch' Nominated for Voices of the Year Award

With its Women-Inspiring-Women mission, BlogHer is a women-centered movement of both the written and the spoken word by women from different walks of life. They honor women of extraordinary talent and inspirational potential at their annual BlogHer18 Creators Summit, taking place this year on the evening of August 8th at Pier 17 in New York City.

Sweta Srivastava Vikram’s previous books with Modern History Press have attracted attention for their female-empowerment themes. Her novel Louisiana Catch features an abuse survivor, Ahana, who is on a run from her dark past and finds an emotional sanctuary in an online support group.

How the Author Sees Her Work

What was the writing experience of this novel like?

There were some parts in Louisiana Catch that were easy and fun to write, especially the rapport between Ahana and Rohan Brady. But the part about marital rape and cat fishing were definitely emotionally draining and such strong reminders of the darkness in our society.

And how do you relate to the main character?

Ahana, the female protagonist, is very different from me. Yes, we are both South Asian women who are well educated and have strong careers. But Ahana is inherently dependent on others for emotional well-being and decision making and she is an introvert, quite the opposite of me. But we both do have a common agenda: raise awareness and join the fight to end violence against women.

Editorial Opinion from Modern History Press

Victor Volkman, Senior Editor at Modern History Press, opined:

Louisiana Catch is a remarkable book on several fronts. Foremost, bringing the extremely difficult topic of recovery from marital rape to the mainstream conversation in America makes this book significant. It also excels at portraying Ahana as someone who happens to work in New York but was born in New Delhi: that she can be an immigrant, without being defined by that as her sole relevant characteristic is an important message for the readers of 2018. Last, it is the tale of a modern woman struggling mid-career whose number one priority is not romance, but love happens anyways despite her hard-earned wariness of the male sex.”


How Mindfulness Can Help You Enjoy Your Book Release Day

By Sweta Vikram

Sweta Srivastava Vikram
Sweta Srivastava Vikram

It’s 5 am on Saturday, April 7. My head is ready to explode. I am supposed to speak at a wellness conference in Pennsylvania in a few hours and on Tuesday, April 10, my debut U.S. novel, “Louisiana Catch,” comes out. That very evening, I am doing an intimate wine and reading celebration with a fellow author at Bluestockings bookstore in downtown Manhattan.

Louisiana Catch is my 12th book. The book is about Ahana, a 33-year-old grieving daughter and sexual abuse survivor from New Delhi who must summon the courage to run a feminist conference in New Orleans, trust a man she meets over the Internet, and unravel the mystery of an online predator in order to find her power. It wasn’t an easy book to write. Though the book’s release happens to coincide with the #MeToo movement and the media attention has been heart-warming, none of it has been a cake walk.

To an outsider, this is all good stress, right? What you dreamed about. What you worked towards. But, you know within—that the creative life is a gift, but it is also full of ups and downs. Exhilarating and nerve-wracking in the same breath. Of course, then there are elements outside of our control. How will our book be welcomed into the world? Will anyone read it? What if no one shows up to the book launch events? The list of anxiety triggers can be endless.   ….Read the rest of the story….

Shaila Abdullah – The Quintessential Author

by Attiya Abbass

Shaila Abdullah
Shaila Abdullah

In conversation with the award-winning author and brains behind books like Saffron Dreams, Beyond the Cayenne Wall, My Friend Suhana, A Manual for Marco and Rani in Search of A Rainbow

It is a success of a writer if their inscriptions prepossess a power to impact even one life. For Shaila Abdullah, it’s a stream of successes, in five published books.

It was not easy reaching my interviewee for the conversation about to be unfolded. Shaila remains busy as a bee and only months later could she find the time to tend to a persistent journalist.    Read the full interview here….!

Instrumental: Mindfulness. A Path Toward Healthier Creativity and Balance

by Sweta Vikram

Sweta Srivastava Vikram
Sweta Srivastava Vikram

Creativity takes vulnerability. Creativity takes courage. Creativity takes honesty. As Brené Brown so eloquently says, “Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.”

While the process of writing and sharing, our stories can be empowering, the in-between process can turn us writers into wrecks. Writing can sometimes mean opening certain doors from your past you had sealed shut. It can feel like picking on the scabs of a wound until it starts to bleed again. Sometimes, writing can introduce us to the inhumanity and darkness in the world.   Read the rest of the story…