Deepti Kapoor’s debut novel is the most intriguing release of the winter. In A Bad Character (Knopf, $24), a 20-year-old woman—a restless member of New Delhi’s middle class—enters into a deleterious relationship with an intense and disaffected man. It’s a novel of sex, drugs and keen perceptions chiseled into shape by Kapoor’s vivid and plainspoken prose. A Bad Character doesn’t indulge any pretensions of being an “important” book about modern India. This is a fiction concerned with the peculiarity of having one’s basic needs met and desiring strange and dangerous things.
Recommended by Drew Cohen, buyer for The Writer’s Block bookstore, 1020 Fremont St., 10 a.m.–8 p.m. Mon-Sat, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sun.