Month: May 2004

  • Perhaps imitation is really the sincerest form of flattery if you belong to the Times group. Gouri Chatterjee reports in her Via Media column for the Calcutta Telegraph: Metro twins Same day (Friday, April 23, 2004), same headline (“Sex and the city”), same (almost) blurb (“Calcutta Times kicks off a series on the infidelity rage […]

  • Nell Freudenberger did a reading at the local Barista in Defence Colony, where the earth moved for her audience. More or less literally; the Corner Bookstore is perched on the second floor of a building that judders every time a car passes by, and you don’t want to know what it feels like when the […]

  • “When Adolf Hitler killed himself in his Berlin bunker on 30 April 1945, the news took some time to travel. Eight confused days followed, until the German Wehrmacht finally capitulated. Joachim Fest, then 18 years old, heard about it in a PoW camp in Laon, France, after having been taken prisoner by the US Army […]

  • Two brilliant interviews with two outstanding writers, Jenny Diski and ZZ Packer. (From The Telegraph.) Jenny Diski: “Books are available for us to play with. I wanted to retrieve the Bible from stupidity, to take it back as an “essentially human story.” ZZ Packer: For me to use the places in which I’ve lived is […]

  • John Banville revisits Milan Kundera’s The Unbearable Lightness of Being. “Returning after 20 years to what is acknowledged as a modern classic, I was struck by how little I remembered. As I began re-reading The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera’s novel of love and politics in communist-run Czechoslovakia between 1968 and the early 1980s, […]

  • Farrukh Dhondy, official defender of the Naipaul faith. He shouldn’t bother when Naipaul summarises his own argument thus: “When the subject cropped up at last, Naipaul kept his cool. Dalrymple’s evidence of cultural hybridisation was shaky, tendentious; clearly it had been influenced by left-wing academics. The Moguls systematically destroyed Hindu culture. The fact that a […]

  • “Helen Fielding has much to answer for, not least clones of Bridget Jones that haunt not just her own sequels but of every wannabe writer wanting a self-deprecating heroine with oodles of SA and not near enough common sense…” “Okay, so no big deal, TDH is welcome to do her bit for feel-good India with […]

  • “An independent writer should be willing to be relatively poor for much longer than most professionals.” In the age of the mammoth book advance, Ravi Vyas points out that most Indian authors shouldn’t expect to earn much from their labours.

  • “The closest I can get to describing Ram Guha is that he is an intellectual entrepreneur. He might well have become an economist, joined the Bank and showered advice on the poor of the world. But he became a Marxist and went to Calcutta to empower the poor. The Marxist research institute he joined there […]