Month: November 2005

  • Srikanta in Rangoon

    Amardeep’s course on Travel Writers: India, England and the United States, sounds tempting–“Travel also shows us things about ourselves we might not have known, as we are forced, when abroad, to confront our particular prejudices and limited knowledge about the world.” His focus is on non-fiction, but I’ve been noticing interesting travel references in Indian […]

  • The first black vampire

    The SF Bay Guardian has an interview with Octavia Butler, whose new work stars an African American vampire who can walk around during the day because melanin protects her from the sun’s rays. Nice idea, now let’s do a film starring Anil Kapoor as a werewolf–the kicker being that no one will ever notice when […]

  • Writers, classification of

    From Brooklyn Follies by Paul Auster: There were no rules when it came to writing, he said. Take a close look at the lives of poets and novelists, and what you wound up with was unalloyed chaos, an infinite jumble of exceptions. That was because writing was a disease, Tom continued, what you might call […]

  • Bad Sex Awards (burp)

    The longlist for the Bad Sex Awards has been announced–I’m not entirely convinced that Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Tarun Tejpal or Christine Aziz should have been on the list, but that’s another matter. In tribute, we offer The Digested Read: [Warning: Adult content. Courtesy Updike, Brando, Coren, Elton, Rushdie, Grossman, Garcia Marquez, Theroux, Aziz, Lecasble and […]

  • Reasons to hate really good writers

    Some day, I’m going to get on a train at Nizamuddin Station, perhaps the one that wakes us up at three am because it has such a quiet, mournful hoot, and take it to the end of the line, and find another train, and take that to wherever it’s going, and so on and so […]

  • The BS Column: Ode to Willy D

    When William Dalrymple wrote an article recently in which he argued that Indian writing in English had sputtered out in the home country, I found myself wishing he would just read a little more often. Dalrymple’s arguments have been made over the years within India. There are no contemporary writers of the stature of Rushdie, […]

  • Book review: Curry

    Curry: A biographyLizzie CollinghamChatto & WindusDistributed by Rupa & Co, POUNDS 11, 318 pages Some years back, compiling an anthology of Indian food writing, I realised that the history of Indian food came by the tiffin-carrier system: one dabba at a time, its contents separate from its companions. There were histories of Mughal or Rajasthani […]

  • The BS Column: Places of the Heart

    Here are the last sentences of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’ Memories of My Melancholy Whores: “I was arranging my languishing papers, the inkwell, the goose quill, when the sun broke through the almond trees in the park and the river mail packet, a week late because of the drought, bellowed as it entered the canal in […]

  • Last Word: In the ghetto

    “Why do we need a Woman’s Page?” a friend asked me recently. To her, a page marked ‘Women’ or ‘Gender’ is a tacit admission that there is no space for “women’s issues” or “gender issues” in everyday, normal discourse. And perhaps that admission is true. When I look at women’s issues, as presented by activists, […]

  • The BS Column: Nirmal Verma

    “Sometimes I think what we call our lives, our past, our history, brings us peace—no matter how painful it may have been to live. No matter how forbidding its terrain might have been, it is familiar country.” It was almost 40 years after Nirmal Verma had startled the Hindi literary world with ‘Parinde’ and the […]