Month: September 2003

  • “Now I say to myself: he was 68, he had a wonderful family, he saw his children grown up and had huge happiness and pride in them, he leaves us his work, he has touched and influenced millions of people across the world and, in the end, death comes for each and every one of […]

  • Had planned to do a fair amount of blogging today, but I don’t have the heart. Leukemia finally caught up with Edward Said. (More; The Edward Said Archive.) His was one of the sanest, most courageous voices of our times.

  • The Babu, along with a good many baffled readers in India, has been wondering why Ali and Lahiri are so sensitive about the whole Indian thing–Indian critics, Asian origins, et al. This was before he learned that someone actually asked Monica Ali: “Were you raised black or white?” (Link found on Maud Newton.) And before […]

  • “Ali and Lahiri inhabit an in-between world. Their narratives straddle both the new country and the old, they demand fluency in both worlds, never mind that this is easier attempted than achieved.” Mini Kapoor in the Indian Express.

  • The Indian market for books in English by Indian writers back home is limited–a bestseller shifts 3,000 copies (up from 1,000, which was the benchmark a few years ago), a blockbuster does 10,000. Perhaps that’s why Jhumpa Lahiri’s publicist can turn down interview requests from Indian reporters with a dismissive comment to the effect that […]

  • “…55 years after a group of scholars began composing the authoritative dictionary of Sanskrit, the long-dead language of India’s ancient glory, they are almost done — with the first letter. ‘Sanskrit,’ sighed Vinayaka Bhatta, chief editor of the dictionary project at Deccan College, ‘is not easy to translate.’” From a Washington Post story on the […]

  • “There was a flash and all of a sudden Madonna found that she was sitting in a beautiful garden surrounded by piles of books with her name on the cover. Why, when Fairy Andrew held up a mirror, she found she even looked like an author! Her incredible hair was swept up into an intellectual […]

  • Sects, sects, sects, is that all Pico Iyer was thinking about when he wrote Abandon? Stephen Schwartz’s review is harsh: “His Sufism is a marketable mysticism, reduced to small bites of tranquility and enlightenment.” And (Snarkwatch alert??) “Pico Iyer, who mainly works as a writer for Time…” is an unnecessarily sniffy, if not downright lazy, […]

  • The SF Gate reviews Madonna’s The English Roses; thanks to them, the Babu figures he’s just saved $20.

  • Asne Seierstad spent three months living with ‘Sultan Khan’s’ family–her account of that time, The Bookseller of Kabul, has been well received. Now Shah Mohammad Rais, the real-life bookseller, claims that she misrepresented his family. Seierstad stands by her account. (Link from MobyLives.)