Month: May 2005

  • Open source: Deep Throat revealed

    Former FBI official Mark Felt, now 91, tells Vanity Fair that he was Deep Throat. The full story is here.John D. O’Connor writes: “I believe that Mark Felt is one of America’s greatest secret heroes. Deep in his psyche, it is clear to me, he still has qualms about his actions, but he also knows […]

  • Life’s a beach and then…

    Peter Walker profiles Rattawut Lapcharoensap, author of Sightseeing:“Sightseeing carries the publisher’s tagline “The Beach bites back,” a reference to the novel by Alex Garland about Western backpackers in Thailand, later made into a film in 2000 starring Leonardo DiCaprio.Rattawut dismisses the slogan as “literary marketing,” but admits that while he enjoyed The Beach as a […]

  • Nootka, very briefly

    From The Guardian: “Also known as Nuuchahnulth, which means “along the mountains” – a reference to the speakers’ homeland – Nootka’s telescoping of words is unparalleled in other languages. The range of alternatives means that a sentence as long as “to wipe the tears from one’s eyes with the back of one’s hand” is rendered […]

  • There was a slight Hitch…

    Christopher Hitchens wins friends and influences people at Hay-on-Wye:“Female audience member Excuse me. I’m not usually awkward at all but I’m sitting here and we’re asked not to smoke. And I don’t like being in a room where smoking is going on.CH (smoking heavily): Well, you don’t have to stay, do you darling. I’m working […]

  • Re-reading history

    Mukul Kesavan disentangles the real story of the Congress from the official version: “A hundred and twenty years after it was founded, the history of Congress nationalism as taught in classrooms and written in textbooks remains an implausible story…. Far from imposing order on the press of events, narratives of nationalism often endorse exotic, unlikely […]

  • Hatchets, burying of

    Manjula Padmanabhan and er, the Babu in her real-world avatar did a jugalbandi on book reviewing in India for the Indian Express. Here’s Manjula Padmanabhan on ‘sadistic reviewers, angry authors’: Getting a book published is an emotionally and financially draining enterprise, with no guaranteed reward at the end of it. Given this reality, it is […]

  • The Business Standard column: the Orange prize

    (First published in the Business Standard, May 30, 2005) When the Orange Prize for women’s fiction was announced in January 1996, it seemed like a retrograde step to many observers. This was the enlightened 21st century, not the dark ages: some condemned the prize for excluding men, and writer A S Byatt declared that she […]

  • Blood on the dance floor

    (Published in The Indian Express, May 27, 2005. This was in response to a suggestion from the paper that an author and a reviewer might separately want to express their views on the business of book reviewing in India. The Marginalien cast an impartial eye on reviewing and authorial responses from the perspective of a […]

  • Pramod Kapoor on Ismail Merchant

    This came in on email today, from Roli Books, marked “We deeply mourn the sad passing away of our author Ismail Merchant”. A tribute from the publisher The man who as a child dared to confront ghosts in Karla caves, whose friends organized a star-studded show to buy him a passage to America to study, […]

  • What’s white and white…

    …and red all over? Penguin. From The Guardian: “To celebrate [its 70th] birthday, Penguin is issuing 70 new short titles, or Pocket Penguins, drawn from its back catalogue or new work. Now, unexpectedly, the titles have provoked outrage and surprise because they include work by only two authors who are not white…Although Penguin has published […]