Month: September 2004

  • All better now

    Grady Miller, thank you. His short story, composed as a series of rejection letters, restored me to life. November 21, 1968 Dear Poet, After careful consideration, we have decided that “A Cinnamon Roll in Saigon” simply isn’t right for Flotsam. It seemed both sentimental and manipulative to place the thoughts of the roll in the […]

  • Pass me the sleeping pills

    I’m sick of posting obits to the point where if any more writers die this week, I’m going to have to kill myself. (It’s hard when your template doesn’t support black borders.) Anyway, as most of you know and many of you pointed out I refused to acknowledge, Francoise Sagan died this week. I was […]

  • Biblio: Reading Lolita in Teheran

    (This was first published in Biblio, autumn 2004) Reading Lolita in Teheran: A Memoir in Books Azar Nafisi Fourth Estate, distributed by Rupa & Co, POUNDS 4.99, 343 pages ISBN: 0-00-717848-4 In a brief musing on postmodernism and contemporary literary criticism, Mario Vargas Llosa wrote: “Responsibility and clarity go together with a certain conception of […]

  • Biblio: The Patrick Neate profile

    (First published in Biblio, 2004) The year Patrick Neate won the Whitbread for Twelve Bar Blues, a friend sent me an email. “Guess what I’m doing in New Orleans?” he wrote. “Looking for twelve blues bars in tribute to the Neate man. Going to raise a toast to every chapter of that book.” It takes […]

  • Random stuff: the NRI fiction piece

    (First published in Tehelka, March 2004) All it takes is a few weeks on a reading assignment for a paid-up IBCD (Indian Born Complacent Desi) to upgrade to TCD status. TCD—not the same as ABCD, or American Born Confused Desi–stands for Terminally Confused Desi. It’s what happens when an RI (Resident Indian and/or Recalcitrant Indian) […]

  • Reviews: The Last Song of Dusk

    From the review: “Gazes ram into skulls. Hapless victims of crocodile attacks are “impeccably” ripped apart. When a house reputed to be haunted stands in “mysteriously luminous sadness”, we must confess we expected nothing better from it.”   (First published in the Sahara Times, May 2004) The Last Song Of Dusk Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi Penguin […]

  • The MW files: Die Another Day

    (First published in Man’s World, 2002. Appropriately, it was the last ID column.) My friend Mather died several months ago. I consulted him yesterday on his opinion of Bush’s Iraq policy, and of course he was as intransigent as usual. “It’s all about the politics of oil. Here, read these articles: they give you the […]

  • The MW files: The Net Doctor is In

    (First published in Man’s World, May 2002, and nothing’s changed since then…) My friend and I have come up with a great business plan for a new website! Initially, I was a bit chary of putting all my savings into it, but he says that you just can’t lose, everyone online is minting money hand […]

  • The MW files: Please be nice to the chimps

    (First published in Man’s World, July 2001) “That’s reality for you. No saving, no resetting.” Sid 6.7, in the motion picture Virtuosity What’s the definition of a human being? We all know the answer to this one. Humans are carbon-based mammalian life forms, evolved from the great apes to the point where we quit swinging […]

  • The MW files: Ghost Song

    (First published in Man’s World, 2002) When the time comes to figure out what we should call the century that’s just exited offstage, many lofty suggestions will be made. One, I suspect, will stand out on grounds of accuracy: we’ve just lived through the Age of Junk. In retrospect, it seems like the classic human […]