Month: February 2010

  • The Alchemist of Banality

    (This wasn’t a hatchet job, just a little light rapier work. Published in the Business Standard, February 2010.) “Paulo Coelho… has a poor vocabulary. What are his merits? The same as Isabel Allende. He sells books.” Roberto Bolano was one of the towering literary figures of this century, a writer discovered and feted as the […]

  • On book reviewing–Mitali Saran

    “I have a dream,” writes Mitali Saran in Stet. “The dream is that one day, we in India will be able to deal in the currency of ideas and opinion without letting our giant mutant egos get in the way. In this la-la land that I inhabit, Shah Rukh Khan would be able to pick […]

  • Book Review: Committed, Elizabeth Gilbert

    (Published in the Business Standard, February 2010)Committed: A Sceptic Makes Peace With Marriage Elizabeth Gilbert Bloomsbury, POUNDS 12.99, 285 pages In 2006, Elizabeth Gilbert wrote Eat, Pray, Love, a memoir that simultaneously annoyed and fascinated the world so much that we couldn’t stop talking about it. Men hated it; as Gilbert progressed from weeping on […]

  • The BS column: The lure of the local litfest

    (Published in the Business Standard, February 2010; that would be the friendly Kala Ghoda cat, who had a better haircut than me at the time) Almost the first person I run into at the David Sassoon Library at Bombay’s Kala Ghoda festival is an old schoolmate who now heads one of India’s top 100 companies. […]

  • Rant: The Death of Criticism (Yes, Again)

    This post by Amitava Kumar reminded me of a debate that happened in several tents at the Jaipur Litfest, and that’s been continuing in several virtual tents for the last decade in India. It’s second only to the Whither? (Whither the Novel? Whither writing in English in India?) questions in the persistence with which it […]