Month: May 2006

  • Sebastian Junger and the Boston Strangler

    The child in the picture is Sebastian Junger, seen here with his mother; the man standing right behind her is Al DeSalvo, who had just finished a carpentry job for the family. The day before the photo had been taken, Boston resident Bessie Goldbberg had been murdered; a man called Roy Smith was charged and […]

  • Events: Baby Halder’s book (Thursday, May 11)

    Mail from Zubaan’s Urvashi Butalia:On the 11th of May Zubaan and Penguin India will be launching an unusual book, and in an unusual way. The book is called A Life Less Ordinary, and is an account of her life by Baby Halder, a young woman and a domestic worker in a home in Gurgaon. Baby […]

  • Whispers in the dark

    From Orhan Pamuk’s PEN Arthur Miller Freedom To Write Memorial Lecture: In March 1985 Arthur Miller and Harold Pinter made a trip together to Istanbul. At the time, they were perhaps the two most important names in world theater, but unfortunately, it was not a play or a literary event that brought them to Istanbul, […]

  • L-O-N-D-O-N, London

    Reviews of Gautam Malkani’s Londonstani, spot the common denominator: (The Independent): There are a number of reasons to feel dubious about Londonstani. First up, it’s marketed as a street-level transmission from elusive old multicultural Britain, that El Dorado of the publishing world that publishers claim, year after year, to have located in yet another sluggish […]

  • Whorf and the Pirahas

    From Spiegel, a curious piece on a language that lives in the present (link whacked from ALDaily: Everett came up with a surprising explanation for the peculiarities of the Pirahã idiom. “The language is created by the culture,” says the linguist. He explains the core of Pirahã culture with a simple formula: “Live here and […]

  • Gone with the Whinge

    First, read this: Garrison Keillor: OK, let me say this once and get it off my chest and never mention it again. I have had it with writers who talk about how painful and harrowing and exhausting and ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE it is for them to put words on paper and how they pace a hole […]

  • Pramoedya Ananta Toer dies

    Tariq Ali pays tribute to Indonesian writer Pramoedya Ananta Toer, who died this week: Toer, born in 1925 in Blora in central Java, was the country’s most distinguished novelist and, significantly, published in the United States. His life was spared. The generals dared not execute him, but hoped that the conditions in which he was […]

  • Browser failure?

    The Guardian reports on Mumbai’s endangered pavement booksellers: Amin has become a spokesperson for the booksellers, licensed and otherwise. He helped create the Mumbai Booksellers Association, a trade group that has protested and started a petition drive to attract public and political support. (They put up placards with such questions as “Are books polluting? Are […]

  • Is this where the writer lives?

    Roger Mudd revisits Eudora Welty’s home: “Like most Southern women of her age, Eudora regarded her bedroom as a place of privacy.When she typed she was close enough to her windows that passers-by, if they knew to look up, could see one of America’s finest writers at work — no ordinary treat. As her fame […]

  • Amit C is from Mars, Willy D is from Venus

    Just catching up: —Amit Chaudhuri discovers that William Dalrymple and he come from different planets: “Unlike some of the other participants, who could be alternately voluble and reticent about their culture, Dalrymple is never stingy about giving us news of his planet. It is, by all accounts, an alluring place, because things that are muddled […]