Wednesday, February 8, 2012

And a contest, and a giveaway...

And its special, because ten wonderful readers can win signed copies of The Reluctant Detective. Signed by me. Made out to them. By name. Yes.

Is that exciting enough to get you poised at your keyboard to get started on your entry to the contest?

What do you need to do? Nothing too complicated.

You need to write me a comment on this post about your favourite female protagonist in literature and tell me what it is about the protagonist that makes her your favourite.

The good people at Westland will decide on the winners and you have over a week to get your post up. Winners will be announced on February 20. And the judge's decision is final and binding, and we reserve the right to change the decision. All international participants must give me an address in India to courier the copy to.

So, what are you waiting for. Just get right to it.

40 comments:

  1. Have two, can i write about both :)

    cheers,
    Mukesh

    ReplyDelete
  2. It is quite difficult to choose a favorite female protagonist.Karla from Shantaram,Natasha from War and Peace,Dagny from Atlas Shrugged,Catherine from Wuthering Heights,Hermione from Harry potter series,Elizabeth from Pride and Prejudice,Jessica from Merchant of Venice and Anne from Diary of a young girl."

    I would choose the character Natasha from War and Peace by tolstoy.She is one of the most beautiful lady in the novel ,her character and plots depicts the frivolity of youth.I also like her for the romance she brings in the novel.

    ReplyDelete
  3. My favourite female protagonist is Aibileen Clark from The Help by Kathryn Stockett.
    The novel is set in the 60's in Jackson, Mississippi and tells the story of these black women that work as maids in the houses of white women.

    Aibileen is born to a black father, white mother and has a fair coloured daughter. She keeps her own daughter away because she finds the environment too hostile for the daughter. She is guilty all through and she makes up for it by taking good care and being a second mother for the white children where she works as a maid. She is also a friend in need and constantly supports Minnie through her ups and downs. The novel brings out her vulnerability, her strength, her ability to take everything in her stride (when she is offered a separate toilet) and her never say die spirit. At the end of the novel, she is falsely accused of stealing and thrown out of the white lady's house but she sees it as freedom from slavery and a new beginning where she can do what she wants.

    The story is about breaking age-old shackles, facing the consequences and emerging stronger and looking forward to a better and brighter tomorrow. I also love Skeeter Phellan's character there.

    And I am living (not dying) to read your novel. My library doesn't have a copy of your book, so I have requested them to buy one. If I can have my own copy, nothing like it :) And your autograph would be the chocolate ganache on a chocolate cake :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. The first name that comes to my mind is Dina Dalal from the novel A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry. Set after India's independence Dina is an enterprising and astute businesswoman - she works to stay independent after her husband dies.

    For this she employs two tailors and takes her friend's son as a paying guest. Though initially suspicious of the tailor she ends up telling her landlord (who comes to throw her out of the house alleging she is using the space for commercial purpose) that the tailor is her husband. I like the girth and determination with which she goes about her business and how she changes herself with situations to survive tough times as a widow.

    Small things in this book are described beautifully with great detail and for it is one of the best books I read recently! Would love to get a signed copy of your book - and if I get this it is gonna be one of my high points!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. scarlett o'hara from Gone with the Wind and Hermione from the potter series.

    ReplyDelete
  6. My favourite female protagonist is Scarlett O' Hara, from Gone with the Wind. Love her or hate her, Margaret Mitchell’s iconic Southern belle has certainly left a massive impact on popular culture; both she and Gone with the Wind itself inspire legions of zealous followers referring to themselves as "windies." And yes, all that in spite of the book’s lamentable sexual and racial politics.

    ReplyDelete
  7. My favourite would be Miss Marple, the gentle but sharp lady, who taught me a lot of things about life, observing without seeming to, not taking people at face value, looking out for a pattern, taking everything with a ponch of salt, and yes, having guts of steel, when it really matters. A brilliant mind, demure of manner, witty, and immensely curious, without making it obvious.

    ReplyDelete
  8. The first name that came to my mind ( because I met her early in my youth) is Elizabeth Bennet of Pride and Prejudice. She is courageous and caring, headstrong and impulsive but also wise and sympathetic, she is simple and has no airs and graces. Lizzy can hold her own before the high and mighty, I specialy like the part where she puts Darcy in his place and later when she had the gumption to talk back to his mother. Her relationship with her father is another thing I like about her. She decides not to marry the foolish Collins, even though it would have stopped them from being disinherited from their own father's property, after his death. She decides to wait for love. She also understands the compulsion of her friend who then accepted Collins. She dashes off on horseback to attend to her sick sister and cares nothing for her dishevelled appearance as a result. She is lively, humerous, compassionate and strong. She delighted my adolescent heart and made a permanent place for herself in it. Yes, she is my favourite!!

    ReplyDelete
  9. My favorite protagonist always has been Scarlett O' Hara from Gone With the Wind.

    She is one of the strongest female characters ever created, brought forth in a time when women had few strong role models to look up to in fiction or otherwise.

    Society said a true lady was always polite, kept her mouth shut, did not show her own strength, and most certainly did not use her brains. Her job was to patiently wait for a man to rescue her, and look pretty all the while.

    Scarlett broke every rule, from the very first time we see her as a pampered southern belle, lost in the romance of the antebellum south, to the very last scene, where she realized that she has just lost the only man she ever truly loved. Yet she still fights on, promising herself that tomorrow is another day, she is a true heroine.

    Her value as a character is immense. Throughout the story she grows and changes; some aspects of her personality are sharpened while others are worn down.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Scount Finch of To kill a mocking bird. Her innocence, her idea of honor and nobility, self evaluation and her views of her brother and everybody around her is so touching with a generous amount of humour to it all.

    Would love to have a signed book of TRD.

    ReplyDelete
  11. All Marianne Keyes heroines hold a special place as far as female protagonists go. However as I’ve got to choose just one, it would be Sonea, around whom the story of the Black Magicians Trilogy revolves.

    Sonea, a street urchin, with untapped magical abilities beyond the average magician. Once her powers are discovered, Sonea is adopted into the Magicians Guild, a place reserved solely for the upper classes. Sonea is taught to curb her magical talent, which if uncontrolled, could cause destructable harm. She is also expected to curb her slum mannerisms in order to fit in with the Guild.

    Sonea is looked down upon, shunned and mocked for her slum background by the rest of the novices. She is then, much to the chagrin of her peers, taken under the guardianship of the elusive, charismatic, powerful, immensely handsome, silent and mysterious High Lord of the Guild, Akkarin. And the rest….you can imagine;-)

    The trilogy and its protagonist are a favourite purely for the escapism it offers, whilst having all the elements essential for an un-putdownable novel, namely fantasy, suspense, deceit, and a healthy dose of romance thrown in.

    ReplyDelete
  12. My Favourite protagonist is Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice. In times when the girls are just supposed to look pretty and keep a house. Elizabeth stands out for keeping a mind of her own and then following thru with it.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Mine has to be Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice. The way she interacts with Mr Darcy - first totally prejudiced by his "proud" behaviour, then slowly getting to know and like him and ultimately falling head over heels in love with him but still not wanting to let him know that. Her character is someone that can easily be identified by every single one of us. She also has very strong views on women, love, romance, relationships that she comes across as such an independent woman even for the age in which that book was written.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Scarlett Ohara and Elizebeth Bennett seem to be favourites so far. Anymore favourites coming in?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just received the book minutes ago!

      Thank You!!!

      Delete
  15. Its a weird choice, first my choice is not from a literary work (I haven't read much of literature and definitely non from the list provided by above Literary lovers) but from a cartoon series aired on Doordarshan, I was die-hard fan of this series as a kid (Still a kido). The character is "Meena", I loved the whole concept and execution of the series.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Gauri of the Dork & God Save The Dork fame by @Sidin Vadukut is a character who doesn't find mention on many pages but is always working on the main protagonist's psyche i.e. Robin Einstein Verghese...I love her impact on the guy and his mind, the very moments he wavers off her a bit in passion sheepishly even, she appears so suddenly as many readers would vouch for...so Gauri is my favourite female protagonist...thanks... wonder what is in store in The Reluctant Detective...

    Hopefully

    Pritam @KumarSinha
    New Delhi, India

    ReplyDelete
  17. My anytime favourite protagonist is Miss Marple, in her simple daily life she finds answers to big mysteries. She has made me watch out for more in even our daily lives! It just so turns out she is female. When am down, when am happy give me a book with Miss Marple fixing a crime...

    ReplyDelete
  18. My favourite protagonist keeps changing with the books I read. And I am sure that's the case with most of the readers here. Being an Indian, Indian mythologies have been an integral part of our lives.

    I have read and heard about so many stories of female mythological characters, read about so many of them, seen them in series/movies. But one particular book that touched me was Palace of Illusions. In that book, the character of Draupadi was portrayed beautifully. Her strong and weak sides, her wickedness and love, her selfishness as well as selflessness - everything has been narrated too well. Thus Draupadi it is for me.

    ReplyDelete
  19. After all the classic names I am feeling almost shy to say that my favourite is Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series. I used to admire both Scarlet O'Hara & Elizabeth (very popular among the readers here) but I just feel that I I can relate to Hermione better since she is belongs to our generation (the jeans wearing, punch throwing & rule breaking generation). I love the fact that she is intelligent, very bookish(very like me), she stands up for and behind her friends at all times. Though she is very particular about rules, she is not scared of breaking them when times ask for it. She is very compassionate -- be about her friends or houselves. In short, She is everything that I already am or I want to be!!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Well for me it has to be the time honoured Portia from The Merchant of Venice by Shakespeare and I guess, I need not say much about her. She is elegant, gracious, intelligent and most importantly the gift-of-the-gab to think judiciously and craft ideas perfect for any situation while providing justice to everyone.

    ReplyDelete
  21. My favourite female protagonist has to be Alice from Alice in Wonderland.
    Some of you must be laughing. Its just for one reason. As I remember, its the first picture book that I had read as a kid. I should rather say, my Mom forced me to and even read it out to me. It eventually thought me that creativity and thinking is endless. Reading it opened me to a new world, into the world of books.

    ReplyDelete
  22. There are several female characters that are my personal favourite but to point to a few, I would have two, topping my list!
    The first is Josephine "Jo" March, from Little Women. She defines me in a multiple number of ways! I love her attitude, her sense of self-respect and dignity. That too, in a time when women were considered to be objects in a man's private sphere. I completely adore her, no-nonsense attitude!


    The second one, would have to be Madeline from the Madeline Series by Ludwig Bemelmans. I have been watching her since I was a child and haven't stopped yet. Her red hair, stout hat and beautiful smile still comes into my mind every time I think of her. Her undeterred determination and positivism still continues to enthral me. She reminds us that at the end, we with our self strength can win over anyone or anything. She is my true hero. Her smile warms my heart and makes my mind stronger. Lets just say she is my Bournvite Girl!

    My id- priyankadey90@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  23. I hate her, but I can't get her out of my mind.
    She is Dominique of "The Fountainhead" by Ayn Rand.
    She is beautiful, manipulative and aggressive behind a mask of boredom. She knows what she wants, knows how to get it, is ready to suffer the consequences of her actions and is devoted to one man,though many vie for her attention and subsequently,love.
    She is cruel, though she aches herself when she causes pain to her loved one.
    Dominique is too good yet too brutal to be true. She's a vision who can either send shivers up your spine or have your loyalty forever.
    Whatever the case, she is one character who can never be forgotton!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Kaveri(protagonist) is my favourite, from the book - Losing my Virginity and other Dumb ideas by Madhuri Banerjee.
    Why is she my favourite?
    Because she is someone whom I dream about like the perfect partner I want to have. She knows 7 languages and the biggest fact that she has remained a virgin till age of 30 waiting for the right guy.
    I am glad to have bought the book and found her atleast on paper :)

    ReplyDelete
  25. My favorite female protagonist would be "Florentyna Kane" from Jeffrey Archer's novel "The Prodigal Daughter". I like her very much because she's everything that I want to be. To be precise, I see myself in her. She's a strong lady, who knew what she wanted and what she wanted to do. She achieved something in her life and made a difference. She didn't let stronger sex to over-rule her-be it her father or her husband or her lover. She always had their love and did what her heart asked for. Not many women choose to listen to their hearts. They do once in awhile but not always and that is what I like about her. It is easy to be weak, it is easy to want to be strong but it is not that easy to be strong.

    ReplyDelete
  26. My favorite female protagonist is someone from a book I read a while back - Julia McNicholl from An equal music by Vikram Seth. She may not be as prominent as Scarlet O' Hara or a Elizabeth Bennette in the pages of literary history. But the pianist, who is love interest of male protagonist in the book - the violinist Michael Holme - has always been a character of interest for me. On the face of it, Julia may resemble a typical melodramatic bollywood heroine to so many of us- resuming her affair with Michael in Vienna while being married with a child, and also being stone deaf to top it. But her vulnerability as well as her musical connect to Michael is what made me like her. When she comes back in Michael's life, she does not rekindle their relationship to as bright as a flame as one would probably expect from lovers who have been enamored of each other since a decade, and this is where the stereotype is broken brilliantly by Seth. Julia is aware of her limitations, yet the chords and strings that bring Michael together are kept alive through the sands of time.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Female protagonists have become stronger in literature over time and we cant keep our eyes off while they are maintaining their femininity and independence. The one female protagonist in literature which has really impressed me comes from a fictional author of Twilight series...i.e. by author Stephanie Meyers ...an ordinary girl called Isabella Swan who is weak in physical stature, is shy, quiet, loyal, trustworthy, and responsible. She also has low self esteem, however she possesses strong individualistic qualities that sets her apart making her extraordinary.
    The entire story revolves around her- a common girl falling in love with a 104 yr old vampire who is thirty of her blood. She maintains a strong role shaping the fate of herself and those around her. The love between Edward and Bella is tied with a bond so strong, that every obstacle brought amongst the couple cannot shake their love.
    Bella is one of my favorite protagonists because she isn't afraid to speak her mind, despite wishing she could crawl under a rock when it's all over. She follows her heart, even when her mind argues with it. Not exactly a sensible attribute, but it is a female attribute nonetheless, and we're all guilty of it. Despite the fact she's almost always in danger, she looks past the problems toward a possible solution. She sticks up for her friends and tries her damnedest to make sure they'll be okay before she even bothers to worry about herself.

    ReplyDelete
  28. My inspiration has to be Sita.... one who played by the rules but stood on her ground when she was being bullied into doing which was not just... was her husbands shadow when it was required.... but was independent enough to raise her children on her own when it was required... She was a princess, who could have gone back to her parents, when she needed their help, but she chose to ignore her status. She is what today's woman is all about, following the rules of the society, but standing by their beliefs, they are their husband's partner in every respect while making sure that their independence (not only financial but emotional) is maintained.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Hi Kiran.. am a loooooooong time reader of both your blogs and love your writing.. I put up my entry on thursday..but looks like it got lost :(..hope the contest is still open..

    My favourite character is Anne from the Anne of green gables series by L M Montgomery. Her mind and eyes always full of vivid dreams, her acceptance of her love starved life , the way she charms everybody and later blooms under the love showered to her.. Anne has a personality you cannot help but fall in love with.

    The first book is my favourite with Anne being introduced as a 11 year old who enters the life of Mathew and Marilla cuthbert. She soon charms the entire town of Avonlea and is delighted at finally having a real "home". In the forthcoming books Anne falls in love with and marries her childhood friend. The happy dreamer in her faces her first shock when her baby daughter passes away and the way the memories linger in her heart and change her, never fails to touch us. The final books in the series are set against the backdrop of the World war where Anne faces the struggle of sending away her children to the war front to defend their country.
    Anne is shown as a strong character, a free spirit, as somebody who always looks at the good side of things, who beleives that the world is a happy place and all people are lovely, as someone wth the knack of getting into scrapes, as someone who loves to matchmake..Anne is quite the charmer.. somebody whom i had the honour of meeting in my chilhood and have re-met and loved again and again.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Hi

    My favorite character is Lisbeth Salander from The Millenium Trilogy. I love her for her indomitable spirit, intelligence and ability to rationalize her actions

    ReplyDelete
  31. my award for the 10 would be - 1. Smita 2. Dipti 3. Nethra 4. Momofrs 5. Shiva Ram Reddy 6. Kalyan P 7. Neha 8. Palsworld 9. Abhinav 10. KumarSinha (may be 11th even):p

    best of luck to whosoever wins,


    Pritam @KumarSinha
    New Delhi, INDIA

    ReplyDelete
  32. Drumrolls......here, as selected by my editor at Westland, the lovely Deepthi, are the winners of this giveaway: Shipra, Ayesha, Diya, Shivangi, Neha, Debdatta, Shiva Ram Reddy, Myriad, Nethra and Junee...

    Congratulations! And do write in to me at kiranmanral at gmail dot com with your postal address (India only) to receive your signed copy.

    Everyone, thank you for participating. It was delightful to see one of my favourite female protagonists, Scarlett O'Hara being amongst the most popular, as well as Elizabeth Bennett. As well as the more contemporary protagonists, like Lisbeth Salander-must confess I had a girl crush on her!

    The winner of the 11th book? Ah well, you have to wait for that till tomorrow.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yippeeeeee!!!! [Happy Dance]

      After reading so much about your book, I cant wait to get my hands on it!! Inboxing my address...

      Delete
    2. Thank you soooooo much :)) very excited abt receiving your book. Have sent you my address thro email :) *happy dance*

      Delete
  33. Just felt I had to add someone, even though it's over.
    Antigone, without a doubt. All she wanted to do was bury her brother, even though it meant death for herself. A completely unselfish act!! Nothing to gain, everything to lose!! I think I shall go and re-read it.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Congrats to all the 10 winners from me,

    enjoy & keep reading,

    Pritam @KumarSinha
    New Delhi, India

    ReplyDelete
  35. I didn't win :( Congrats to the winners anyway! Enjoy reading the book :)

    ReplyDelete
  36. Dear All, Thanks all for participating in the contest. Request all the winners to please mail your address to westlandbooksindia@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete