My latest book is The One Who Swam With The Fishes.

"A mesmerizing account of the well-known story of Matsyagandha ... and her transformation from fisherman’s daughter to Satyavati, Santanu’s royal consort and the Mother/Progenitor of the Kuru clan." - Hindustan Times

"Themes of fate, morality and power overlay a subtle and essential feminism to make this lyrical book a must-read. If this is Madhavan’s first book in the Girls from the Mahabharata series, there is much to look forward to in the months to come." - Open Magazine

"A gleeful dollop of Blytonian magic ... Reddy Madhavan is also able to tackle some fairly sensitive subjects such as identity, the love of and karmic ties with parents, adoption, the first sexual encounter, loneliness, and my favourite, feminist rage." - Scroll

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8 March 2021

What I'm Reading

What a lovely day to talk about some books by women I read recently. @penguinindia sent me those two collections of short stories on the top: Impetuous Women by Shikandin (a pseudonym) and Women Who Misbehave by Sayantani Dasgupta. They seem to be packaged together, the covers are similar, their details were sent to me in one release and I see today that they're having a combined book launch today. It makes sense: these are both collections of short stories featuring women in domestic situations. They are similar enough that reading them back to back, I had to go back and check which story belonged in which book. But then it's hard to tell you which one to read, which one I preferred because even if two books are sent to you at the same time with the same intentions, I still liked one more than the other because, well, we are human and we express preferences. For me that book was Impetuous Women, for no other reason than I saw myself in some of the stories. They are both equally well written and have equally enough heft to be enjoyed individually or as a couple. As for the other two non similar books I read this week, there's Andrea Levy's (I recently learned she died of cancer a few years ago which makes me so sad) Never Far From Nowhere about sisters in London, one black, one lighter skinned and their lives unfolding next to each other. I get what Levy was trying to do with it but it was hard to feel sympathy for Olive, the darker skinned sister after a while. She was unlikable but interestingly, that made me question WHY I found her so and that led to a whole conversation with myself in my head. (Highly recommend debating yourself for some truth bombs.) Rodham by Curtis Sittenfeld (another author I adore) is about what would have happened if Hilary hadn't married Bill but friends, I am finding it a drag. Toooo much political information, not enough of those lovely lively details Sittenfeld normally puts in to make her characters alive. This is like fan fiction. I will finish because Curtis, but it is a bit of a slog. Anyway! Long wall of text but I wanted to show you the female authors I was reading for women's day (coincidentally but still!) #bookstagram

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