Aids Sutra: Untold Stories from India

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Random House, Sep 15, 2009 - Literary Collections - 352 pages
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India is home to almost three million HIV cases. But AIDS is still a disease stigmatized and shrouded in denial. It is stigma that prevents people from openly discussing the facts around HIV, and keeps them from getting treatment. Stigma leads to discrimination against HIV positive people in hospitals, schools and even among families.

In this ground-breaking anthology, sixteen of India's well-known writers go on the road to tell the human story behind the epidemic. William Dalrymple meets the devadasis ('temple women'), many of whom have become victims of HIV; Kiran Desai travels to the coast of Andhra where the sex workers are considered the most desirable and Salman Rushdie spends a day with Mumbai's transgenders. These writers travel the country to talk to housewives, vigilantes, homosexuals, police and sex-workers and together they create a complex and gripping picture of AIDS in India: who it is affecting, how and why.

Eye-opening, hard-hitting and moving, AIDS Sutra will show you a side to India rarely seen before.

This anthology was produced in collaboration with Avahan, the India AIDS Initiative of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Proceeds will be used to support programs for children affected by HIV in India.

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About the author (2009)

Kiran Desai was born in New Delhi and lived there till she was 14. She spent a year in England before moving to the US. Her novel The Inheritance of Loss won the Man Booker Prize in 2006. She is the daughter of writer Anita Desai.

Salman Rushdie is the author of eight novels, one collection of short stories, and four works of non-fiction, and the co-editor of The Vintage Book of Indian Writing. In 1993 Midnight's Children was judged to be the 'Booker of Bookers', the best novel to have won the Booker Prize in its first 25 years. The Moor's Last Sigh won the Whitbread Prize in 1995, and the European Union's Aristeion Prize for Literature in 1996. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres.

Vikram Seth was born in Calcutta and grew up in India, and now lives in England. His acclaimed novels include A Suitable Boy and An Equal Music, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize.

Amit Chaudhuri was born in Calcutta, attended UCL and now teaches at the University of East Anglia. Among his many acclaimed novels, poetry collections and critical essays, he edited the Vintage Book of Modern Indian Literature. He is also a classical musician.

Siddhartha Deb was born in India in 1970 and moved to New York in 1998 on a fellowship. He has worked as a journalist in Delhi and Calcutta, and writes for the Guardian, New Statesman and TLS.

Nikita Lalwani was born in Rajasthan, India, and raised in Cardiff, Wales. Her first novel Gifted was longlisted for the 2007 Man Booker Prize, and will be followed by her second novel The Village in 2009. She lives in London.

Nalini Jones's collection of short stories, What You Call Winter was published in 2007. She was born in Rhode Island, received an M.F.A from Columbia University and now lives in Connecticut.

Shobhaa De is an Indian journalist and novelist. She began her career as a model but became a journalist in the 1970s when she founded and edited three popular Indian magazines. She is now a freelance writer and lives in India with her husband and six children

Sunil Gangopadhyay is the author of over 200 books, including novels, poetry, children's fiction, short stories, travel writing and critical writing. He is an important literary and cultural figure in India.

Jaspreet Singh is the author of a novel, Chef, a play, Speak Oppenheimer, and Seventeen Tomatoes, a collection of stories awarded the McAuslan Best First Book Prize. He lives in Canada.

William Dalrymple is an internationally acclaimed historian and writer. He is a regular contributor to The New York Review of Books, The Guardian, the New Statesman and The New Yorker, and his bestselling books include The White Mughals and The Last Mughal: The Fall of a Dynasty. He divides his time between New Delhi, Edinburgh and London.

Sonia Faleiro is an award-winning journalist and author of a novel, The Girl. Contributing editor at Vogue India and writer-at-large for Tehelka, India's independent news magazine, she is working on a non-fiction book about the bar dancers of Bombay, where she currently lives.

Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi's debut novel, The Last Song of Dusk, won the Betty Trask Award and the Premio Grinzane Cavour Prize in Italy. He lives and works in Bombay.

Dr C.K Lakshmi writes fiction under the pseudonym Ambai in Tamil, and is the author of two collections of stories, A Purple Sea and In a Forest, A Deer. Currently a college lecturer in New Delhi, she is Director of SPARROW (Sound & Picture Archives for Research on Women).

Mukul Kesavan a critically acclaimed, bestselling writer, essayist and journalist. He is also a cricket enthusiast, and his book Men in White was published by Penguin India in 2007.

Aman Sethi is a Delhi-based reporter with the fortnightly national Indian news magazine, Frontline where he covers infrastructure, environment and urban ecologies. His first book is expected in 2009.

Amartya Sen (Foreword) is an Indian economist and philosopher. He won the Nobel Prize for Economics in 1998 and the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian award, in 1999. A former honorary president of Oxfam and Master of Trinity College Cambridge, he now teaches at Harvard University in the USA. His many books include Choice, Welfare and Measurement, Development as Freedom and Identity and Violence: The Illusion of Destiny.

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