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The Miraculous True History of Nomi Ali by Uzma Aslam Khan

There is nothing more hurtful than hope.
A young girl in the Andamans somehow survives against all the odds in the years immediately prior to independence. Her brother does not: he is executed, a woman prisoner is simply written out of existence, indigenous peoples are treated abysmally, and there are those who learn the art of looking away so that they do not see what they are not meant to see. British and Japanese brutality contrast with the islands' beauty in this tale of how the girl ultimately finds her place in the world beside a childhood friend.

A Prayer for Katerina Horovitzova by Arnošt Lustig

" . . . A hundred times courageous, a hundred times good, a thousand times just, a thousand times beautiful," he sang.
A Jewish girl with a zest for life tries to survive after being transported to a concentration camp along with her family. Once she realises that her wish has been made impossible, she kills one of her tormentors and cripples another before she herself is killed along with twenty other men, rich American Jews before the Nazis extracted all their money using false promises of repatriation as bait to convince them to keep signing cheques.

House of Shadows by Iris Gower

'Oh yes, I believe in ghosts... if it's only the ghosts from our past. Ghosts of people we've loved, lived with or never known. A bit of our past is always with us in the colour of our hair, the way we walk, or the turn of the head or the way we talk. Oh yes, the past lives on in all of us, so yes, we live with the ghosts of memory every day.'
An artist comes to live in a dilapidated house; five young maids were once killed there. The owner of the house was accused of murdering them and killed himself... his widow is determined to have him exonerated. She sells the house to the artist and eggs her on to discover the truth which the artist ultimately does: the maids were not murdered but killed by carbon monoxide poisoning after a chimney had accidentally been blocked.

The Library of Lost and Found by Phaedra Patrick

'You live on your own, so you have more time,' Clive had told her, when he'd asked her to take charge of the event preparations. 'You don't have personal commitments.'
A self-effacing volunteer librarian who gave up on a relationship to take care of her parents till they died finds purpose in her life by doing others favours. Naturally, she is taken by granted by almost everyone she encounters until, spurred on by being connected with a self-published book full of stories she herself wrote as a child, she begins to make sense of her past and take control of her present.

The Mulberry Courtesan by Sikeena Karmali

We have lost the Mughal empire—for make no mistake of it, it is lost already—to the greed of a company of pink-fleshed men who know nothing of what it means to honour the laws of governance, who perhaps do not even know what it means to honour the integrity of having been born a human being! 
In mid-nineteenth century Delhi, a typing Afghan woman who has been captured from her home by a sepoy and sold in a slave market finds herself being gifted to Bahadur Shah Zafar. The world she has been thrust into is one of intrigue and betrayal almost held together by poetry. 
'The time now is for listening,' Ghalib explains. 'And then it will be time for delivering. And later, for reciting. After all that—after the listening and the delivering and the reciting have all been ingrained, then, only then, shall we begin to compose. For it is a very serious business creating verse, sacred even, for in every act of creation, we rise up and we join the Divine.'
It is a world that will s…

Dust Under Her Feet by Sharbari Zohra Ahmed

'You must decide how rich you want to be,' she said, 'and adjust your conscience accordingly.'
A woman, the daughter of a courtesan, opens a club in Calcutta during the Raj. Through her tale, a portrait of the city and its inhabitants emerges as it contends with the Bengal Famine and the World War, with colonialism and racism. She has a son with an American soldier stationed Calcutta; he returns to the States and to his wife after the war but the three of them are reunited years later.

The Blue Jade by Shobha Nihalani

'Remember, if you have the strength, then you will face the hardest lessons in life. That is the main teaching of all our holy texts. Krishna is testing you. Are you going to put desire before duty?'
The Rajput princess who became a Bhakti saint, Mirabai, was convinced to marry with scripture being quoted to her. The novel imagines three jades of Lord Krishna that once belonged to her. Of them, one, the blue jade, was stolen and, years later, it fell to an art dealer, engaged in selling stolen artefacts as (she believes) a means of protecting them, to follow in the path of the saint to return the jade to its rightful place. In doing so, she faces treachery and assault, and develops an understanding of the saint's life.