Back. We hope.

Yeah, I know. Blogger burnout’s been happening in a big way over the last few months at Kitabkhana, and we apologise. When I say “we”, I mean it this time: many of you already know the identity of Hurree Babu, but for those who didn’t, well, the Babu’s been officially outed, in a passing line in an India Today story about blogs. (Drop by here if you want to check out some of my non-Babu stuff.)
Anyway. The blog was down because I had cerebral malaria, which they treat these days with fancy drugs that make you want to upchuck all the time, which makes the choice between blogging and not blogging very easy. (Blogging + messy keyboard vs no blogging + sleep = no contest.)
While I was sleeping, some of my favourite litbloggers decided it was time to change the world. They’ve started Read This!, under the umbrella of the Litblog Co-Op.
Ron Hogan sums it up: “In some ways the litblog is still a reactive genre–we get many of our stories by noticing what’s in the news, and declaiming whether we’re for it or against it–but one of our more significant strengths lies in our ability to react to what is missing from the usual media coverage of literature and the publishing industry. As mainstream book coverage, particularly the coverage of new fiction, contracts, blogs can present a new forum to address books and authors that aren’t getting noticed elsewhere. Or maybe they do get noticed, but not nearly enough.”
Because of the multiplicity of voices on the Co-op, the range of recommendations coming in is delightfully varied. And it’s particularly useful for those of us who’re sitting here in Delhi instead of London, New York and other publishing hubs: McEwan and Ishiguro and Murakami are easily available here, but authors like Mitch Cullins or Zoran Zivkovic are much harder to track. News about them doesn’t filter through and their books don’t reach Indian bookstores in the main: it’s nice to be offered a wishlist, an alternative view. It’s a bit like trying to find graphic novels–until very recently, there was nothing. Maybe Spiegelman’s Maus, but not even something as mainstream as LXG. But then the films happened, or else the bookstore that I and the husband frequent figured out that we were secret addicts, and now at least the mainstream titles are coming in. In dribs and drabs, but well, they’re sort of around. Enough from me: go visit the LBC, have fun, add to their list.

4 comments

  1. you will always be hurree babu to me–even though a sasialitter who’d deduced your “real” identity had told me of it a long time ago.now that the question of breaking incognito no longer remians i hope to meet you in delhi this summer.

  2. The Babu is a lady. How delightful! But Babu was always delightful anyway.I’m currently reading Siddhartha Deb’s new novel, but I’ll be back to root around all this juicy linkery here.Nice to see you again.Abdul-Walid of Acerbia

  3. That explains the constant references to the ‘partner’, intead of the usual boyfriend-girlfriend. I ascribed it in my mind to some kind of pretentiousness – my apologies.

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