Month: August 2004

  • Cogito, ego sum

    This story is even better if you know who the First-Rank Naavelist in question is. I’m not telling, and neither is an uncharacteristically discreet Ruchir Joshi, who met the man and his monumental ego. From Ruchir Joshi’s Which One Will He Shoot?: “Within two days I meet an artist who tells me he thinks his […]

  • Wanna be a writer? Join the Foreign Legion

    Shashi Tharoor on the connection between diplomacy and writing: “My friend and former United Nations colleague Jayantha Dhanapala…argues that the professional diplomat, like the sensitive writer, has to be able to mix with both elites and masses; be firmly rooted in his own culture while open to the experience of others; have inner resources to […]

  • In search of the naive and sentimental reader

    Reading Michael Dirda on Madame Bovary, I found myself nostalgic for the days of innocent reading, when books were simply books and not part of the daily grind. One of the very few drawbacks of working in a profession where your job consists of reading a lot is that you lose the ability to approach […]

  • Say it Louder, Ms Desai

    “So much is being written in India now, every mail brings me manuscripts to look at by Indian authors. It has suddenly become a craze. It’s not much to do with writing, it’s to do with celebrity culture. Because a few like Rushdie and Arundhati Roy have become celebrities, it’s encouraged others to try writing.” […]

  • Booker 2004 longlist

    It’s out; the Scots are complaining, the Canadians aren’t. I imagine the Pakistanis are happy about Nadeem Aslam being on the list, or at any rate they’re sending the Babu a lot of ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ emails. The Guardian nabbed the usual Booker-as-a-horse-race metaphor earlier than the rest this year. Many of the big names fell […]

  • He’s back. Should I care?

    I know, I know. This is a New Naipaul Novel; if you’re really into alliteration, the New Naipaul (Nobel) Novel. Given the number of times I’ve reread A House for Mr Biswas and the affection The Suffrage of Elvira, Miguel Street and much of the early work still inspires, there should be joyous hallelujahs or […]

  • Why you should read this Padma Lakshmi profile

    For these three priceless quotes: 1) On her husband, Salman Rushdie: “In India, he is very, very famous. He’s like Faulkner to Americans, or Dostoevsky to Russians.” I especially like this when it’s followed by: “The only thing she doesn’t like about him is his beard. It plays havoc with her skin.” 2) On the […]

  • Amitava 101

    Subtitled how to summarise an author.

  • Joshi at 120 mph

    Ruchir Joshi dropped by Fortress Amerika recently. He had fun at O’Hare: “…[W]hen I reached into my pocket for my passport, he froze like a Rottweiler about to attack: ‘Keep your hands on the counter! It’s not a good idea at all, to take your hands out of my sight!” This, with each and every […]

  • Gmail accounts

    Kitabkhana’s emulating its betters: we have six Gmail accounts (ie free Gmail invites) to give away on a first come, first served basis. If you’d like one, please let me know in the Comments box–and include your email address, otherwise I won’t know where to send the invite.