Month: July 2003

  • More on Banker: The Literary Saloon over at The Complete Review comments on Ashok Banker’s letter (yup, the one we promised to love, honour and cherish) to us hapless souls at Kitabkhana. And no, the Babu didn’t ask them to do this, though he’s touched that they did. Scroll down to the posts for July […]

  • Kitabkhana promises to cherish this letter forever–it’s the first threat of legal action the site has received this far. Now we feel just like the big brand newspapers. (Don’t bother looking for the offending item–it’s been removed.) Without further offending Mr Banker, the Babu can say that the brouhaha was over the rumoured Rs 10 […]

  • “Just to exist in Lahore is a sort of inspiration,” says Bapsi Sidhwa, in a commentary for the BBC on the cities that inspire writers. Since this is soundbyte stuff, don’t expect much more than a sort of Lahore Made Easy guide. Rushdie takes Padma Lakshmi very, very seriously. They even discuss Prout. Proust. Whatever. […]

  • Theodore Dalrymple came down hard on D H Lawrence recently (“an earnest, but not a serious writer”). Poet David Novak comes to the defence of Lawrence, twinkling buttocks and all. Dirty Harry? A bunch of brave, indefatigable souls have applied their smutty minds to the vexed question of sexual innuendo in the latest Potter book. […]

  • * The US doesn’t take kindly to foreign fiction, especially in translation. Oh, and Laos is the new Timbuctoo. (The Babu has great respect for the New York Times, but this is news?) “We have always been sort of monosyllabic in terms of languages, and that extends into ignorance or wariness of other cultures,” said […]

  • Hmmm. Hautboys are high-pitched wind instruments, so perhaps they should be sounded, not flourished. (Hot boys are what Germaine Greer’s been very publicly demanding the right to lust after.) Ashok Banker’s book deal eclipses Vikram Seth’s much-ballyhooed advance. Do the math. Episode update in the Barbara Taylor Bradford versus Sahara TV soap opera. Ramachandra Guha […]

  • The Babu apologises for the recent slowdown in blogging activity: every time he wants to do something really useful, minor irritants like work, deadlines and viral fevers intrude. There’s a lot to catch up with, so without further ado (flourish of trumpets and hautboys, whatever the latter are): There’s an interesting discussion over at Two […]

  • * The most anticipated publishing profile of the year is out, and Lynn Hirschberg at the New York Times makes it clear where she’s headed from her first sentence onwards: “Although he has never edited a book, discovered a writer or masterminded a marketing campaign, Peter Olson is the most powerful man in book publishing.” […]

  • Reetika Vazirani, a noted Indian-born poet, has died along with her two-year-old son. Police in Washington say it’s a murder-suicide. This account of her last hours is gut-wrenching.

  • More from the Filthy Lucre Department: Ashok Banker has picked up Rs 10 crore for his revamped Ramayana–sort of. Read the fine print on this one very, very carefully. I dunno: Banker makes a big fuss over not wanting to be interviewed, then agrees to a long interview with The Week; wrote a column once […]