International Women’s Day 2020: Gone are the days when Indian women writers penned stories solely on family and marriage and domestic issues. Today’s women writers are creative warriors fighting and breaking cultural stereotypes literally. Be it delving into how adept skulls can be made to talk at the burning pyres of Varanasi to conversations between ghost twin with the survivor twin, women writers in India are getting bolder with everything readers like best – original narratives with real content and context.
From unusual stories to spooky and paranormal thrillers, our literary landscape is dotted with diverse genres of content and storytelling. Notably, India’s women writers are coming out with spooky, paranormal and supernatural narratives, which is an unusual creative space in itself.
International Women’s Day 2020: Latest ‘horror’ books by new women writers
Now, it is time for me to recommend ‘spooky reads’ by Indian women writers. Their books explore ‘unfamiliar’ territories and share tales that can send bone-chilling jitters down your spine. You may want to keep your bedside lamp switched on while you are reading their stories. So, here we go!
Anita Krishnan’s ‘Ghosts of the Silent Hills’ (Stories based on true hauntings) is the scariest book I have read so far. Call it a real-life horror thriller, if there is such a word. Every story in the book makes you shiver and look over your shoulder. The fact that the collection of stories are based on real life tales from the hills will leave a spine-chilling feel in the air.
Published by Fingerprint Publishing, the author begins with a question that nails one’s own doubts about these things, "Do ghosts really exist?" and she continues by explaining the real-life sightings that she has directly heard across her growing up years in Shimla.
From Proyashi Barua’s ‘The Mystic Sinners’, a gripping narrative of Varanasi’s ‘tantric’ related secrets keep tumbling out one after the other. While the story unfolds with the exploitation of an unsuspecting educated woman who approaches a tantric, it explores the relatively unknown facets of authentic tantric worship. As the narrative evolves, the protagonists are on a mission to reveal how the ancient practices are a science yet many are the charlatans with limited knowledge choose to exploit and amplify the fears and insecurities of ‘educated’ people.
Published by Readomania, the book offers well-researched and interesting insights about Tantric worship in Varanasi and Assam through its gripping narrative.
Mehak Daleh’s ‘And the Roses bled’ begins with every mother’s biggest nightmare – when a child goes missing and doesn’t come back. The narrative pulls you in with a nail-biting chill in the air as you delve into a paranormal world. A clear ‘gut feel’ emerges as you link events to the sequences of happenings in the physical world, yet clearly orchestrated by forces of a paranormal world.
Published by Fingerprint Publishing, the book’s narrative serves as a grave reminder about the challenges facing modern day parenting and policing, among other things.
To read is to explore new words. On this International Women’s Day, take a pledge to read new women writers from across the country. After all, there is nothing as spell binding for a reader as experiencing the deadly silence of haunted pathways and muffled screams while turning the page over and waiting with bated breath for what happens next.
So, let’s wish more power to Indian writers!