Month: August 2005

  • Vice Visa

    William Dalrymple expands on a talk he gave at the India Today conclave earlier this year, to make the somewhat controversial case that we have to look to the diaspora for future IWE (Indian Writing in English) stars: More than a decade later, however, it has to be said that there is a slight sense […]

  • The dope: for Booker junkies

    You know what’s great about the selfless promotion of the joy of literature and the love of the reading habit we call the Booker Prize?The gossip.First off the mark, Boyd Tonkin, who served as a Booker judge in 1999, the year fellow judge John Sutherland memorably shot off his mouth (link thanks to Zafar, Richa): […]

  • "Everybody’s taking something…"

    “…or they’d never make it till morning.” Theresa in Looking For Mr Goodbar. Judith Rossner is dead; she was 70. From the obit: “In a 1983 interview with The Washington Post, Rossner said, “It’s astonishing what some women will put up with just to have a warm body _ some of the brightest women I […]

  • August 6, 1945

    “At exactly 8.15am, on August 6 1945, Japanese time, at the moment when the atomic bomb flashed above Hiroshima, Toshiko Sasaki, a clerk in the personnel department of the East Asia Tin Works, had just sat down at her place in the plant office and was turning her head to speak to the girl at […]

  • Man Booker Longlist

    Amardeep takes issue with Amitava Kumar’s recent critique of Rushdie: “Though I generally admire Amitava Kumar, here I have to disagree with him, especially the central thesis of this essay — the idea that what Rushdie has been writing about all along is himself. There is undoubtedly narcissism there (in the recent books), but there […]

  • The Lanka trip (Outlook Traveller)

    [Did my best to write a “good” Sri Lanka story, but I was a tourist in that country. Like Nadine Gordimer’s definition in The Pickup: “…The tourist who like all tourists didn’t know what she was really looking at.” This came out in Outlook Traveller’s August issue.] Michael Ondaatje tried to warn us, he really […]

  • I’ll just take the leftovers, thanks

    Like most relics, the Buddha’s Tooth, preserved carefully in the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy, has quite a history. It was smuggled from India into Sri Lanka in a woman’s elaborate hairstyle; it travelled up and down the countryside as monks, kings and invaders tried to get their hands on it; the Portuguese claimed […]

  • Speaking Volumes: Champagne supernova

    (First published in Speaking Volumes, Business Standard, August 10, 2005. This column kicks off what I hope will be an occasional series–once every month or so–that turns the spotlight on new Indian writers who’re below the hype decibel level, but who really do their stuff well. Is it necessary to say that I love Vandana […]

  • Speaking Volumes: The lost and found department

    (First published in Speaking Volumes, the Business Standard, August 2, 2005) In A Reading Diary, Alberto Manguel compiles his list of books for a “sentimental library”. These include Alice Liddell’s copy of Alice in Wonderland; the copy of Leaves of Grass that Walt Whitman gave to his lover, Peter Doyle; and whimsical but irresistible, Freud’s […]

  • Amartya Sen on the idea of India

    (Did the interview with Amartya Sen for the Business Standard; will put the transcript up as soon as I have some time, because it’s got much more meat than the piece below. It was, from my perspective, a slightly strange experience: I’m used to interviewing writers or artists whose works are familiar, used to being […]