Month: August 2005

  • Book review: Shalimar the Clown

    (Written for The Indian Express; the link to the paper’s website is here.) Shalimar the Clown Salman Rushdie Jonathan Cape POUNDS 17.99, 398 pages “My memory keeps getting in the way of your history,” the late Agha Shahid Ali wrote in a poem for Kashmir that was simultaneously love letter and requiem. As Salman Rushdie […]

  • Book review: We Need To Talk About Kevin

    (Published in the Business Standard, August 2005) [One of the things that struck me about Shriver’s We Need To Talk About Kevin is just how sacred the myth of motherhood is in our times. Shriver’s a wonderful writer, not afraid to combine a school shooting with a child not even his mother could love, not […]

  • The Hiroshima virtual walk

    {Did this as a very rough Net tour of Hiroshima and Nagasaki sites for the Business Standard a few weeks ago. The first draft I wrote was too handwringing, too emotional: it might have worked at a longer word count, but it would also have been self-indulgent beyond belief. Instead, this is just a list […]

  • Because it’s there

    Stephen Phelan, you’re a better man than Gunga Din. Or Hurree Babu. “With hindsight, I realise that I was naive when I set out to read all the novels on this year’s Man Booker Prize longlist in the space of a single week. I accepted the assignment for reasons of intellectual vanity. Not even the […]

  • Punk rocks Willy D

    Pankaj Mishra writes a pretty stiff Letter to the Editor in the wake of William Dalrymple’s ‘The lost sub-continent’: Not surprisingly, Dalrymple has nothing to say about the best young Indian novelists in English, who mostly live in India – Amit Chaudhuri, Vikram Chandra, Siddhartha Deb, Raj Kamal Jha, Rana Dasgupta, Rupa Bajwa and Tabish […]

  • Seven little Penguins

    From Vikram Seth’s A Suitable Boy: ‘…Shakespeare is not merely great but grand, as it were.’‘But only as it were,’ said Amit. ‘He only looks big in bulk. And I have my own way of reducing that bulk,’ he confided. ‘You may have noticed that in a typical Collected Shakespeare all the plays start on […]

  • The New Laws of Fight Club

    Siddhartha Deb argues for a new kind of Indian novel: The break that more recent books make with this idea of the Great Indian Novel, one that mimetically captures the sweep of India, illustrates the paradox that focusing on the partial may evoke the whole with greater clarity. This is not to say that a […]

  • Copyright, copywrong

    Joseph Stiglitz critiques the use of excessive force in intellectual property rights cases: (Link via BoingBoing.) Without intellectual property protection, incentives to engage in certain types of creative endeavors would be weakened. But there are high costs associated with intellectual property. Ideas are the most important input into research, and if intellectual property slows down […]

  • Three bodhisatvas to you, too

    Hua Hsu writes about literary hoaxes in general and raises the fascinating case of the Yasusada poems: A case in point was the poetry of Araki Yasusada, a Hiroshima survivor whose striking voice and fine, sensual imagery caught the attention of editors at Grand Street and The American Poetry Review in the early 1990s. …Sketches […]

  • Sic Granny Weatherwax onto the media

    Terry Pratchett would like journalists to start reading the fine print instead of turning a letter he wrote to The Times into an “attack” on J K Rowling: As soon as the Harry Potter boom began, journalists who hadn’t read a children’s book in years went “Wow, a wizards’school! Wow, broomstick lessons! ” and so […]