Month: October 2011

  • Book review: The Possessed, Elif Batuman

    (This review was written at high speed, and I wish I’d done more justice to Batuman’s book. The Possessed sent me back to the Russian classics after a decade, and what Batuman does is make you read the books as though you’re reading them again for the first time. Review published in the Business Standard, […]

  • Silencing Ramanujan

    (I had just finished editing the chapter on censorship, part of my collection of essays on reading, when we heard that Delhi University had voted to drop Ramanujan’s essay on Many Ramayanas from its history syllabus. One of the saddest parts of writing the censorship chapter is that it’s never finished: there is always a […]

  • Book review: The Cat’s Table, by Michael Ondaatje

    (Published in the Business Standard, October 5, 2011.) The Cat’s TableMichael OndaatjeJonathan Cape,PRICE NOT MENTIONED, 287 pages “There’s a great line by Ornette Coleman about music,” Michael Ondaatje said in a recent interview. “He says you begin with the territory and what follows is the adventure.” In his sixth novel, Cat’s Table, Ondaatje knows both […]