Month: February 2006

  • We need a bigger boat…

    Mechanical sharks, meanwhile, were conspicuous by their absence at the recent Neemrana writers’ festival. Instead, Outlook did its bit by sending in the real thing: Everyone knew the risks of organising such a mammoth meet of writers from across Africa and Asia. And the second Neemrana litfest seems to have succumbed to them all: quota-filling, […]

  • Bite me

    In tribute to the late Peter Benchley, lists of absolutely no worth whatsoever: Alternate titles for Jaws:Silence in the WaterThe Jaws of Leviathan(Contributed by his father, Nathaniel Benchley): Wha’s That Noshin’ On My Leg Jaws sequels we really wish had been made: Jaws 3, People 0: with an opening sequence that featured Peter Benchley being […]

  • Wooster sauce

    The Times explores India’s fascination with Wodehouse: I have come to explore the curious Indian obsession with P. G. Wodehouse. Nearly 60 years after the nation’s British rulers packed their bags and legged it home, his books are on sale in most bookshops, sometimes nestling nervously between Jeanette Winterson and Virginia Woolf….Educated Indians look fondly […]

  • Kunzru on the Prophet cartoons

    Hari Kunzru makes a very valid point on the Jyllands Posten cartoons: The Jyllands Posten cartoons, while purporting to be some kind of gesture supporting the notion of free speech, are shot through with the same kind of latent racism as I met on my Danish press trip. Not the kind of intense racism that […]

  • Coetzee on Marquez

    In the NYRB, J M Coetzee examines Garcia Marquez’ Memories of My Melancholy Whores, via Kawabata, Cervantes and company: There is always something unmotivated about conversion experiences: it is of their essence that the sinner should be so blinded by lust or greed or pride that the psychic logic leading to the turning point in […]

  • Friedan’s just another word for nothing left to lose

    To me, the big difference between The Feminine Mystique and The Female Eunuch was that I’d give the first book to members of my mother’s generation every time they hassled me and my partner for not having kids and living the bohemian life; The Female Eunuch was what we read in college in the glory […]

  • Travel writhing

    Robert D Kaplan writes in the CJR: Journalism desperately needs a return to terrain, to the kind of firsthand, solitary discovery of local knowledge best associated with old-fashioned travel writing. Travel writing is more important than ever as a means to reveal the vivid reality of places that get lost in the elevator music of […]

  • The Fingersmith returns

    The Babu, who spent far too much time recently sharing a plane with ten assorted screaming infants (none of them his property), wishes he could get Sarah Waters to tell them bedtime stories: From The Scotsman’s profile of Sarah Waters: She then recounts the story of the couple who tempt fate by wishing on a […]

  • Er, yes, there were books…

    …at the Calcutta Book Fair. But also jhal muri, phuchka, assorted delights at the Benfish stall, a million mishtis and, as Great Bong reminds us all in this lovely post, six kinds of mishti doi.The Babu spent some time at the Delhi Book Fair, too, but despite the food stalls at Pragati Maidan, his stomach […]

  • Tequila Mockingbird

    The New York Times tells you where to find Harper Lee: An awards ceremony for an essay contest on the subject of “To Kill a Mockingbird,” the occasion attracts no actor, politician or music figure. Instead, it draws someone to whom Alabamians collectively attach far more obsession: the author of the book itself, Harper Lee, […]