Month: October 2009

  • Food: Table for one

    (Published in the Business Standard, November 2009) “In the same way that you should get massages and take naps or meditate, you should, everyone should, make a point to eat out by yourself from time to time,” wrote Amanda Hesser in her wonderful Cooking for Mr Latte. “You should be kind enough to yourself to […]

  • Book review: Summertime by J M Coetzee

    (Published in the Business Standard, October 2009)Summertime: Scenes From Provincial LifeJ M CoetzeeHarvill/ SeckerRs 799, 266 pages That this is a book by J M Coetzee about a dead and not entirely successful writer called John Coetzee will surprise no one who knows the work of the real Coetzee. Perhaps the only defence left to […]

  • The BS Column: Stet: Nabokov’s last work

    (Published in the Business Standard, October 27, 2009) In a few weeks, Knopf will publish The Original of Laura: Fragments. The “fragments” is key. The design chosen for the final, unpublished manuscript that the late Vladimir Nabokov wanted destroyed is appropriate to the way he wrote it. The book includes reproductions of the 138 index […]

  • The BS Column: Writing faith: alternative histories

    The BS Column: Writing faith: alternative histories

    (Published in the Business Standard, October 20, 2009. Dalrymple wrote in to tell me about the link between his book and Doniger’s: “I was the moderator at the infamous SOAS lecture at which the saffron egg was thrown at Wendy, and that it was my clumsy version of Kevin Costner’s Bodyguard routine, attempting to protect […]

  • Book review: Wolf Hall

    (Published in the Business Standard, October 14, 2009) Wolf HallHilary MantelFourth EstatePOUNDS 7.99, 653 pages On June 30, 1540, a blacksmith’s son risen to power wrote in desperation to his king, Henry VIII of England: “I crye for mercye, mercye, mercye.” A month later, as Henry hastened to marry Catherine Howard, the fourth of his […]

  • The BS Column: The unbearable heaviness of the Nobel

    (Published in the Business Standard, 12 October 2009)Herta Müller, the new Nobel laureate in literature, has been a fierce critic of Ceauşescu’s regime in Romania. She is highly regarded in Europe’s academic circles. She had received over 20 literary awards, including the IMPAC, before winning the Nobel this year. And I must confess an unliterary […]

  • Because I’m not Eve, and because this isn’t teasing

    Here’s a simple grammatical exercise. Replace the term “eve-teasing” with a more accurate word, and this is what you might get: “The eve-teasing incident which further sparked of to tensions between the two communities has forced the authorities to increase the police presence in the area. Reportedly, few unidentified youths passed some lewd remarks on […]

  • The BS Column: The evolving Oriental marketplace

    (Published in the Business Standard, October 6, 2009) This is prize season as the winners of both the Booker and the Nobel are to be announced this week. India has a strong, though not entirely healthy, fascination with both the prizes, slightly dimmed this year because we don’t have a horse in the Booker race. […]