Month: January 2011

  • JLF: The Old Woman and The Cats, read by JM Coetzee

    “You have held an Indian audience silent for over forty five minutes…”Of all the discussions, debates and readings at the festival, this was my favourite, because it was such a pure reading. Coetzee offered only a brief introduction, took no questions; this was not the usual ten-minute excerpt, either. Only poets read a complete piece […]

  • JLF: writers, voices of

    Martin Amis on writing about sex:“It’s impossible to write autobiographically about sex. What voice can you use: ‘Bravo, I took her again in the morning?’”and on writing: “To accuse a novelist of egotism is like accusing a boxer of violence.” “But writing is not a collaborative art. A writer comes most alive when they are […]

  • Lunch with the Business Standard: Miguel Syjuco

    (Published in the Business Standard, January 2011) Among the spotless white mundus and crisp cotton saris of visitors to the Hay-on-Thiru festival held earlier in the year, one writer fitted in, keeping his cool despite the Kerala heat. Miguel Syjuco, the young winner of the Man Asian Prize for Literary Fiction 2008, had spent much […]

  • Speaking Volumes: Tampering with Twain

    (Published in the Business Standard, January 10, 2011) “Well, if I ever struck anything like it, I’m a nigger. It was enough to make a body ashamed of the human race.” (From Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain) It’s impossible for those outside the US to understand just how loaded the “n-word” is, and how much […]

  • Speaking Volumes: The Jaipur Litfest Primer

    (Published in the Business Standard, January 3, 2010)Perhaps the only way to understand the Jaipur Literature Festival is to think of a traditional mehfil crossed with a darbar. Over six years, the JLF has grown from a sleepy, intimate local festival held on the lawns of the eccentric Diggi Palace to Asia’s largest literary festival, […]