Month: August 2009

  • The BS Column: The care and feeding of book bans

    (This is a longer version of the piece published in the Business Standard, August 25, 2009) In Delhi’s Coronation Park, you’ll find a circle of empty plinths. These pedestals were intended for the statues of viceroys past, and a few, like Willingdon and Hardinge, have found their perches. But by and large, the crumbling figure […]

  • Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize, 2009 shortlist

    It’s not on the website yet, but sources say this is confirmed–fiction-heavy this year: Anuradha Roy: An Atlas of Impossible Longing Chandrahas Choudhury: Arzee the Dwarf Mimlu Sen: Baulsphere Mridula Koshy: If It Is Sweet Palash Krishna Mehrotra: Eunuch Park Parismita Singh: Hotel at the End of the World Preeta Samarasan: Evening is the Whole […]

  • (This was a nostalgia piece on the Maruti 800 for Forbes India’s August 2009 issue.) All of us in Chanakya Puri knew the Pitts S-2A biplane, could pick the tiny speck out of the sky, ducked when the pilot flew a shade too close to the shallow rooftops or did a risky set of roll-and-dives […]

  • The BS Column: All in the family

    (Published in the Business Standard, August 18, 2009) Make me an offer I can’t refuse. Ask me to explain why, 40 years after a boy from Hell’s Kitchen–Italian immigrant, government clerk, hack writer–wrote a book about a squabbling family that settled its feuds with guns, we’re still reading The Godfather. My first copy of Mario […]

  • Pradipta Sarkar’s delectable post on ‘How not to impress a publisher’. Required reading for anyone with a manuscript in hand and a gun in his pocket.

  • The BS Column: Don’t sue the science guys

    (Published in the Business Standard, August 10, 2009. My apologies for not updating this blog more frequently; I’m trying to finish a project by August-end, and hope to be back to bloggishness in September.) Simon Singh authored the first book about mathematics to become a number one bestseller in the UK, Fermat’s Last Theorem. His […]

  • The BS Column: The return of the short story

    (Published in the Business Standard, August 04, 2009)“For sale. Baby shoes. Never worn.” Hemingway’s finest short story was written for a $10 bet, has never been bettered and hints at an entire universe of love, loss and grief in its three two-word sentences. Most short stories occupy a more generous compass, but as with the […]

  • The BS Column: In search of an Asian prize

    (Published in the Business Standard, July 27, 2009) The literary world attracts its share of harmless lunatics, and for some years, my mailbox was enlivened by the presence of a gentleman I will call Mr S K Parthasarathi. He had never been published, but had a burning desire to be recognised as an author. For […]