Month: June 2006

  • Go tell it on the mountain

    Two Tibetans, Sonam Bhote and Wangdi Gyalpo, have become the first authors ever to hold a book launch atop Mount Everest. According to this story, their intention was to “prove to the world that, Sherpas and Tibetans who are basically regarded as mountaineers and high altitude porters also possess calibre in literature”. For obvious reasons, […]

  • Zadie Smith wins the Orange

    ..and there is, just occasionally, truth in platitudes: “I am just really touched because I didn’t expect to win. I am so stunned and principally because I have read everything on the short list and I know its quality is incredible. Every writer has aspects of style I genuinely covet. They are extraordinary woman and […]

  • War Stories

    Go read The New Yorker’s ‘Life During Wartime’ series: There’s Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie on Sierra Leone, 1997: It was the custom to “start a life” for your houseboy or housegirl, after he or she had been with you long enough. Fide was with us for twelve years. When my parents asked him what he wanted […]

  • Bourdain, uncut

    The Gonzo of the culinary world doesn’t get edited much on his TV show, but Anthony Bourdain shared his relatively few censored moments with Jessa Crispin: Bourdain: They haven’t said no to anywhere. They cut two words that I’m aware of. I’ve disagreed with them on one edit in the entire show. JC: What was […]

  • So how was your week?

    Nothing like Tishani Doshi’s, I’ll bet. The Babu has several reasons to dislike Ms Doshi, sight unseen: she writes brilliant essays, wonderful poetry, she’s been to Antarctica (gah! the only penguins I ever get to see are the ones that come in paperback binding), and she spent this weekend reading in the Big Tent at […]

  • Amitav, Rukun on Ravi Dayal

    Amitav Ghosh pays tribute to the late Ravi Dayal: His was a mill that ground slow but awful sure, and a manuscript that had passed under his pen was a thing of beauty, in which no comma or semi-colon was allowed to stand without accounting for its existence.It was no easy matter to slip an […]

  • Remembering Ravi Dayal

    It was almost an automatic reflex: most articles about Ravi Dayal instinctively appended “gentleman” before the descriptive “publisher”. He regarded the phrase with some amusement himself. Lighting one of his trademark bidis during an interview I conducted with him some years ago, he said, “It’s revealing, that phrase, of what journalists secretly expect publishers to […]

  • You still won’t be able to read them in the loo, but..

    ..you will be glad to hear that Project Gutenberg and the World eBook Library will be making 300,000 e-books available free from from July 4, the 35th anniversary of Project Gutenberg‘s founding, through Aug. 4. for a month at the first World eBook Fair. There’s more to look forward to in future editions: half a […]