Month: July 2013

  • The Wildings

    The Wildings

    Shortlisted for the Commonwealth Prize (2013), the Shakti Bhatt First Book Award (2013) and the Tata First Book Literary Award (2012) “You’re a Sender,” she remembered her mother telling her, the day she had opened her eyes for the first time. Mara had been curled up, a tiny comma against her mother’s warm flank, listening […]

  • How To Read in Indian: out in 2014

    How To Read in Indian: out in 2014

    How To Read In Indian is about books, and their magic, and why we still love reading so much in the 21st century.Coming soon–to be published by HarperCollins India in 2014! From the title essay, How To Read in Indian: “The Census 2001 figures, recently released, revealed that English had effectively become India’s second language, […]

  • A Matter of Taste

    A Matter of Taste

    “Uncharted continents began opening up before our dazzled eyes, great landscapes where Allan Sealy’s Smarmite shared the same table as Kesavan’s all-inclusive, nationalist feast from Looking Through Glass, and Daniel and Ramdoss made a mango pilgrimage of India (and, in the literary magazine Biblio, a controversy broke out over whether ‘Blue Mangoes’ was really a […]

  • About Nilanjana

    About Nilanjana

    The brief version: Nilanjana Roy is the author of The Wildings (Aleph Book Company, 2012) and The Hundred Names of Darkness (Aleph Book Company, November 2013). She is a contributing op-ed writer for the International New York Times, and she writes about books for the Business Standard, but mostly, she reads. And cooks, a little. […]

  • Speaking Volumes: The intellectual poverty line

    Speaking Volumes: The intellectual poverty line

    (Published in the Business Standard. You can usually fit a good argument into 800 words, but this time, I couldn’t fit in all of the data: the hard evidence that countries from Mexico to China to the US have seriously good, accessible public libraries and art spaces because they saw these things as essential public […]

  • Maggie and Me, Damian Barr: growing up gay in Thatcher’s England

    Maggie and Me, Damian Barr: growing up gay in Thatcher’s England

      Maggie & Me Damian Barr Bloomsbury, Rs 399, 245 pages   Damian Barr’s Maggie & Me might, as recently as ten years ago, have been overlooked because it contained all the wrong things. A boringly white family, situated in a boringly unexotic steel town in Scotland, with even the wrong kind of dictator—Maggie Thatcher, […]

  • Speaking Volumes: From Dhishoom to Banksters

    (Published in the Business Standard; apologies, there was a lot more to write on the subject that wouldn’t fit into the word count, so this does read a little like an excerpt from a longer essay!) In many of Delhi’s Hindi-language bookshops, the bestseller sections stock a range of strikingly familiar titles. Alongside perennially popular […]

  • Booklove: All About Hatterji (50 Writers, 50 Books)

    Booklove: All About Hatterji (50 Writers, 50 Books)

    (From 50 Writers, 50 Books, edited by Pradeep Sebastian and Chandra Siddan, HarperCollins. I wrote this for Pradeep back in 2010, when he called very excited about the idea of an anthology where writers from across (and outside) the country would talk about their favourite books, characters, landscapes. He and Chandra Siddan looked for books […]

  • Booklove: The lives of successful readers

    Booklove: The lives of successful readers

    (Published in the Business Standard, July 16, 2013) The last time I saw back issues of the Indian Review of Books, they were being weighed on a rusted scale, part of a job lot of Illustrated Weeklies and Chandamamas that a Daryaganj pavement bookseller was discarding. The Review was, from 1992 to August 2001, one […]

  • Booklove: sorting the books

    “We’re done,” I said. It had taken almost two weeks of sweat–all too literal, in Delhi’s humidity–to clean up our bookshelves, and I was staring at the end result. The Holy Grail of bookshelves, the ultimate shrine, the sanctum sanctorum, the point where every booklover and hoarder’s pilgrimage ends: we had an empty shelf. Two. […]