Anita Nair Book Covers

Alphabet Soup for Lovers

Lena Abraham knows that love can end in only one way — disappointment. Her marriage to KK is perfect precisely because she is not in love with him, and their life on a tea plantation in the picturesque Anamalai hills is idyllic. Then, one rainy morning, a man arrives to take up temporary residence in the homestay the run. Shoola Pani is south Indian cinema's heartthrob, an actor in flight from his own superstardom, and the last thing he is looking for is emotional entanglement. But when Lena and he meet, something flares between them that neither could have anticipated. She becomes his Lee and he her Ship, and the place they inhabit Arcadia. Told partly from the point of view of Komathi, whose own relationship with Lena is fraught with buried truths from the past, this searing tale of unexpected passion and adultery reaffirms the magical power of love in all our lives.

Lessons in Forgetting

Meera is happily submerged in the role of corporate wife and writer of cookbooks. Then, one day, her husband fails to come home. Overnight, she becomes responsible not just for her children Nayantara and Nikhil, but also her mother Saro, her grandmother Lily and the running of Lilac House, their rambling old family home in Bangalore. Professor J.A. Krishnamurthy or Jak, cyclone studies expert, survivor of one marriage and several other encounters, has only recently returned from America. In a bedroom in his house lies his nineteen-year-old daughter Smriti, a tragic embodiment of memory and past violence. The police will not help, Smriti's friends have vanished, and a wall of silence and fear surrounds the incident. But Jak cannot rest till he gets to the truth. By a series of coincidences Meera and Jak find their lives turning and twisting together, with the unpredictability and sheer inevitability of a cyclone. And as the days pass, fresh beginnings appear where there seemed to be only endings.


The year is 1969. Idris, a Somali trader, is in Malabar to attend the Zamorin’s Mamangam festivities. There, by a strange twist of fate, Idris meets his nine-year- old son, Kandavar, born of a mysterious midnight tryst in this very land. Anxious to remain close to him for as long as possible, he joins the Nair household headed by Kandavar’s uncle, and is charged with a crucial task: of distracting the boy from his dream of becoming a Chaver, a warrior whose sole ambition is to assassinate Zamorin. In an attempt to stave off the inevitable, Idris embarks with his son on a voyage. Packed with adventure and passion, and full of fascinating insights into life in the seventeenth century, Idris: Keeper of the Light will keep you riveted and hungry for more.

Anita Nair is the best-selling author of five novels, The Better Man, Ladies Coupe, Mistress, Lessons in Forgetting, Cut like Wound, Chain of Custody and Alphabet Soup for Lovers. Mistress was longlisted for the 2008 Orange Prize in the UK. She has also published a collection of poems titled Malabar Mind, a collection of essays titled Goodnight & God Bless and five books for children. Anita has written two plays and the screenplay for the movie adaptation of her novel Lessons in Forgetting, which was part of the Indian Panorama at IFFI 2012 and won a National Film Award in 2013. She has been awarded the Central Sahitya Akademi Award and her books have been translated into over thirty languages around the world. Anita lives in Bangalore with her husband and son.