Month: April 2004

  • The Orange shortlist a) is dour b) should be dubbed Operation Debut Storm c) demonstrates that the judges actually do read–enough to leave out Toni Morrison and Monica Ali in favour of Andrea Levy.

  • “I had an epiphany one soporific mid-morning when I stood up in my cubicle to stretch myself awake. Turning slowly in place, I scanned a complete 360 of the cube horizon. The scene was slightly underlit, and while I could hear all sorts of human activity—talking, phones ringing, keyboards clattering—I couldn’t see another living person. […]

  • From Edge: “Choose science, and you have something important to write about. Not just important but fascinating. Not just fascinating but open-ended: you’ll never run out of subjects, where the effort of simplification repays the writer as richly as the reader.” Richard Dawkins offers advice to the young science writer.

  • Pankaj Mishra’s been having fun at the Hong Kong Literary Festival. “During the festival, Pankaj Mishra, who has been hailed as one of the most significant of India’s new generation of novelists, engaged in heated debate with Professor John Carey, the critic, reviewer, and broadcaster. Carey accused some Indian writers of rising to prominence with […]

  • In an earlier post, I’d wondered what a column on Sex and the Umma would have to say. The answer is plenty: Mohja Kahf’s first two columns (short stories, to be precise) for Muslim Wake-Up were hilarious, touching and provocative in equal measure. If you missed them, do yourself a favour and catch up now. […]

  • Samit Basu (author of The Simoquin Prophecy) asks whether Sarnath Banerjee’s graphic novel, Corridor, could be the start of a revolution in the creaking world of Indian comic books. Jonathan Lethem has an essay on reading comic books: “In the mid-1970s I had two friends who were into Marvel comics. Karl, whose parents were divorced, […]

  • It’s all over the papers today, but it’s still creepy enough to warrant a posting. Lancelyn Green, Sherlock Holmes sleuth, may have succumbed to the Conan Doyle curse. He was found in his home garrotted by a shoelace, surrounded by “gin and cuddly toys”. The man apparently thought someone in the Sherlock Holmes Society had […]

  • The Whole New Story meme is beginning to spread. The fun continues at Zigzackly if you want to join in. Anvar Alikhan says he didn’t come up with the original idea, but since he’s the most creative and most prolific of us all, and he tweaked the game, the Babu offers him our heartfelt thanks. […]

  • From Zigzackly, courtesy the Margin Alien, via Anvar Alikhan. Change one letter in a book title and you get a whole new story.. The Bobbit Small man with big feet tries frantically to find someone in Middle Earth who can re-attach his penis. The Catcher in the Rue Sensitive French kid walks the cold Parisian […]

  • The Independent called Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi’s The Last Song of Dusk “an exuberant performance”. The Times of India called Shanghvi “India’s newest, youngest and possibly best-looking exported guru of sex and spirituality”, though the article went on to qualify the praise considerably. India Today burbled across three pages about 2004’s “hottest literary sensation”. So the […]