Month: August 2003

  • “But then in an age when everything’s up for sale, why not icons? In an era when all of humanity, when every creature on God’s earth, is trapped between the International Monetary Fund (IMF) cheque book and the American cruise missile, can icons stage a getaway?” From a radio speech by Arundhati Roy. “What I […]

  • Banker’s Ramayana elicits strong responses. Outlook’s Letters page doesn’t allow for permalinks, so I’m afraid you’ll have to scroll down to locate a) reader’s responses to Krishna Prasad’s review b) Banker’s response c) Krishna’s rebuttal. It’s worth the hassle. “Droll, with its connotations of pathos, gallantry and humour in the face of adversity, is a […]

  • To borrow Sam Goldwyn’s memorable phrase, why does the Booker continue to exclude the Americans out? On the peculiar category of Commonwealth literature, the Babu refers you to Amitav Ghosh’s protest and Amitava Kumar’s commentary. There’s an interesting discussion on post-modernism over at 2Blowhards. India’s still whithering, to use Iris Murdoch’s phrase (“Whither The Novel?” […]

  • “Accurately pegged by an Internet blogger as ‘beautiful and very smart,’ Vida is a part of a coterie of writers — Heidi Julavits, Dave Eggers and Michael Chabon, to name a few — who are young, gifted and both blessed and cursed. While they are admired for their work and for leading a renaissance of […]

  • “Lahiri’s short-story collection won better reviews in the USA than in India, where critics panned what they believed were her negative portrayal of immigrants and questioned whether she was a ‘true Indian’ who could write about India. “That pushed all my buttons,” she says. “It’s what I’ve struggled with: In India, I’m told, ‘You look […]

  • “One of the things we look for when we read is just that level of commitment, that totality. We seek out the full realisation of a unique presence, a voice other than our own: the viewpoints of human beings beyond ourselves: the precision of experiences we cannot have, described by somebody we cannot be… The […]

  • * “Foul Matter — it’s the term for an unedited manuscript — is to publishing what Elmore Leonard’s Get Shorty was to movies, a dissection of greed, hypocrisy and ambition. Publishers have been taken over by German conglomerates like Blundenraven and the real-life Bertelsmann. Companies have names like Queeg & Hyde, Grundge and Dreck Inc. […]

  • “…Rev TB Pandian claimed that London was ‘Mecca for the traveller in search of truth, a Medina of rest for the persecuted or the perplexed in spirit. Though centre of perpetual motion, it is still the Persepolis of human grandeur in repose. To the searcher after enlightenment it is a Budh-Gaya; a Benares for the […]

  • Rowling for the Literature Nobel? Next up, Irvine Welsh. Or perhaps we need more science writers… Between the covers of Don Quixote or Oliver Twist, Indian nationalists smuggled in books banned by the British Raj.

  • Outlook reviews Prince of Ayodhya with mildly raised eyebrows: “In the third year of the third millennium, Ashok Banker, with two ‘adult’ novels and an extra ‘K’ to his name, tosses a bit of lust into a pot brimming over with ‘childish abridged versions and stiff-mouthed analyses’…. Admittedly, these are just paragraphs in an otherwise […]