Month: November 2003

  • “NEW NEW ORACLE I see darkness spreading. I see empty movie theaters. I see us making millions and millions of dollars anyway. Everything that has a beginning has an end. You have to try to stop Hugo Weaving, because even though he’s a piece of software running in a simulated reality, he is impossible to […]

  • “Having thanked the judges, Hari Kunzru explained in his statement: ‘The Impressionist is a novel about the absurdity of a world in which race is the main determinant of a person’s identity. My hope is that one day the sponsors of the John Llewellyn Rhys prize will join with the judges in appreciating this.’” Then […]

  • The Babu’s circle of friends suffers from hypergraphia. Most of them, being cats, are more epileptic patient in their processes than Flaubert, however. And this passage from an article in The Chronicle Review explains why most of his friends, cats and humans included, make bad house-guests: they’re manic-depressive. Of course. “Hypergraphia doesn’t guarantee writing skill; […]

  • The IMPAC longlist is out. Among the 125 authors in contention: Rohinton Mistry, Umberto Eco, A S Byatt, John Updike, Donna Tartt… “Perhaps Tolkien deserves better, but he’s powerless to shape his legacy now. By conjuring for the public an imaginative space with such broad and far-reaching appeal, the Oxford don unintentionally became the author […]

  • The Whitbread shortlists are out: compared to the Booker, they remind the Babu of those old Avis ads–the Whitbread judges try harder. Usual suspects: Vernon God Little in the First Novel category, Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time in the Novel category. Not to diss Haddon’s book, which I’m […]

  • The Woman in the Cape has clamped down hard on the freedom of the press. Jayalalitha, Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, objects to phrases like “”stinging abuse”, “unrestrained attacks on the opposition”, “fumed”, “incensed”, “chastisement” or “diatribe”, when used to describe her speeches. In fact, she objects so strongly, she’s trying to arrest journalists from […]

  • We had fun reading about the person who “wretches” in a plane toilet, in Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Namesake, but now it seems it was the fault of a flunky who opened the wrong file. If you’re into book collecting and you have a typo-strewn edition of the book, hang on to it–it should be worth […]

  • “AMIT CHAUDHURI is an unlikely radical. He dresses conservatively. His hesitant delivery is of one who weighs each word carefully before committing it to speech, as though language came to him in a box labelled “Handle With Care”. His four novels, A Strange and Sublime Address, Afternoon Raag, Freedom Song, and A New World, are […]