Month: December 2009

  • 2010: The Year Ahead in Books

    (Published in the Business Standard year-end special issue on books, December 2009) Fiction: It’s a great year for the novel of ideas, with writers from Ian McEwan to Gregory Roberts exploring new territory. Roberts wisely allowed a long gap to elapse after the runaway success of Shantaram, but his new novel, The Mountain Shadow (Hachette) […]

  • The Business Standard 50 Best Books of the Year: 2

    (Published in the Business Standard’s special year-end issue on books, December 2009)THE NON-FICTION LIST: The Idea of Justice: Amartya Sen (Viking/ Penguin)One of the most widely discussed books of the year seeks to redefine justice as an active goal rather than a passive abstraction, via the Indian concept of “neeti”. The Nobel laureate’s arguments are […]

  • The Business Standard 50 Best Books of the Year

    (Published in the Business Standard year-end special issue on books, December 2009) THE FICTION LIST: A Gate at the Stairs: Lorrie Moore (Knopf)Moore’s novel of a woman growing up in the American Midwest is funny and heartbreaking in turn, and deserves all the praise it’s got. Love and Obstacles: Aleksandar Hemon (Riverhead)One of the best […]

  • Books in 2009: What authors were reading

    (From the Business Standard special year-end issue on books, published in December 2009) THE BEST READS OF THE YEAR: Gurcharan Das, author of The Difficulty of Being Good: My choice would be the battle books–Books Six to Nine–of the Mahabharata in the recent, beautiful, parallel texts in English and Sanskrit published by the Clay Sanskrit […]

  • The BS Column: From Dune to Cyberabad

    (Published in the Business Standard, December 8, 2009) If a future historian were to examine the ways of humanity via a library of science fiction, these would be the scholar’s conclusions. Most rocket scientists and space explorers are white and male. UFOs, ETs, alien life-forms and spaceships prefer to visit the United States of America […]

  • The BS Column: Faiz Ahmed Faiz: the poet in prison

    (Published in the Business Standard, November 2009) The thousands who still recite Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s poetry honoured his 25th death anniversary earlier this month in various ways—through mushairas, book releases and some, Faiz-style, raised a glass of single malt to his memory. Faiz, born some four decades before Independence, has been claimed by three countries: […]