“It’s a rare feat when a personal story clearly elucidates hotly-contested political battles. Gidla’s deep generosity of spirit is evident on every page.”
On Monday, Publishers Weekly releases its editors’ choices for 2017’s Best Books. The issue’s cover will feature Sujatha Gidla, whose family memoir, Ants Among Elephants, touches on class, immigration, opportunity, poverty, inequality, among many other topics.
“Gidla was born an ‘untouchable’ in India, and as Jonny Segura, who leads the PW review team, told me, her family’s story has the sweep of the best epic fiction, illuminating how caste intersects with class, gender, religion, and more,” explains Andrew Albanese, PW senior writer. “It’s a rare feat when a personal story clearly elucidates hotly-contested political battles. Gidla’s deep generosity of spirit is evident on every page.”
As Albanese tells CCC’s Chris Kenneally, the memoir has one foot planted in the caste system of India with the other in the subway system of New York City.
“Gidla is a conductor on the New York City subway. It’s just remarkable that she wrote such an astonishing book while working for the MTA.”
Every Friday, CCC’s “Beyond the Book” speaks with the editors and reporters of “Publishers Weekly” for an early look at the news that publishers, editors, authors, agents and librarians will be talking about when they return to work on Monday.