Month: April 2005

  • Saleh to the defence

    Al-Tayib Saleh on writing in the Arab world: “If you find a publisher who believes in Arab literature and takes a risk on it, not just publishing a few thousand books, you will find readers for it,” said the 76-year-old writer, who is married to a Scot and has lived much of his life in […]

  • It was only idol lust…

    In which idol worship takes on a whole new meaning:“Indian police are investigating a complaint against an award-winning author after he wrote he had been sexually aroused in his youth by clay idols of a revered Hindu goddess, a police officer says.Police acted after a complaint was filed by a former police officer against Sunil […]

  • Blocked? We feel your pain…

    I must confess that before linking to this piece on prolific authors, I took great pleasure in emailing the paragraph about McCall Smith’s working habits to the six author friends I know who’re suffering from writer’s block. Even as I type, my inbox is filling up with anguished cries from tormented souls. Mwahahahahaha. Andre Mayer […]

  • The invisible reader

    Martin Gilbert on the hazards of recommending books, and on the “postliterate society”:“With novels, it becomes dicier. There is a risk in admitting you are moved by a bunch of words made up by someone you (probably) don’t even know. It is specious to pretend that novels, even those that win Pulitzer Prizes, occupy more […]

  • 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 […]

  • Speaking Volumes: The one about Saul Bellow

    (First published in the Business Standard on April 19, 2005) Upon hearing of Saul Bellow’s death, my first reaction was to call an old friend, a gentle and erudite scholar who never permits himself to engage in what he considers vulgar disagreement. He’s been there on two occasions when someone or the other has referred […]

  • Book review: Conversations in Bolzano

    (This was written for the Hindustan Times; should’ve mentioned that what I liked most about Marai’s book was that it sent me back to Casanova’s memoirs. That’s one of the bits about reviewing that’s fun: you get to say, hang on, I’ve got to read this and move off to Casanova’s memoirs (as with Conversations) […]

  • Time Out: The Arundhati Roy piece

    (On the subject of Arundhati Roy, I’m happy to be a mugwump–defined years ago by a pal as someone who has her mug on one side of the fence and her wump on the other. I don’t belong to the bunch of faithful acolytes who treat every word she writes with religious awe, nor do […]

  • Book review: The Shadow of the Wind

    (First published in the Business Standard, April 2005) (Hmmm. One of those reviews that goes “yes, yes, the book’s a bit of a mess but you have GOT to read it anyway because the good bits are SO good”. Come to think of it, I have friends like that!) The Shadow of the WindCarlos Ruiz […]

  • Last Word: Boy, Interrupted

    (This was one of the Last Word columns I do for the Kolkata Telegraph’s gender page. Haven’t put too many of these up because I’m still struggling to get them right…but this was an issue I’d been thinking about for a while. So here it is.) When I look around at my women friends, I […]