Category: Kitabkhana

  • Bhisham Sahni, best known for his Partition novel Tamas, is in a coma following a massive heart attack. He turned in an impressive performance recently playing the Muslim passenger on the bus in Aparna Sen’s film, Mr and Mrs Iyer.

  • Kitabkhana’s been getting a lot of mail from people who want to know how to be an author, how to get published and all that jazz. The Babu is slightly puzzled at why you would seek advice on this subject from someone who writes a blog, so clearly has a) far more time to spend […]

  • Seymour Hersh isn’t the easiest subject for an interview: “When I first contacted him, his response was unequivocal: ‘Leave me alone!’ When I phoned him to discuss the logistics of a trip to Washington, Hersh erupted, shouting into the phone, ‘What do you want to ask me! What do you want to ask me!’” CJR’s […]

  • * (Salon doesn’t require registration, but it does feature the most irritating pop-up ads in the world.) We don’t say, “Pistols or swords?” anymore. But when you see a cold “Excuse me?” in print, you know it means the same thing. In this case, it’s Charles Taylor at Salon calling A S Byatt out on […]

  • Aparisim Ghosh comes close to explaining why fiction from Asia can elicit such dramatically different reactions in the West and back at the family homestead in a review of Brick Lane: “For those with no personal experience of the book’s central milieu — London’s Bangladeshi community — it might seem a spicy treat, full of […]

  • Meanwhile, Pakistan is sanitising its Eng Lit syllabus. The process began when the wife of a retired general complained to the wife of the President that Vikram Seth was too Indian, W H Auden had written a pro-Jew poem and Adrienne Rich was–shock, horror–lesbian. Then they left the matter in the capable hands of a […]

  • Okay, soapbox time. Stage One in the Hindutva campaign was the naked bullying assertion: Mandir yahin banayenge. Next came the attempts, often ludicrous, to elevate our glorious past: We will replace Western science with swadeshi models–astrology zindabad! (Does the Indian government use Vedic mathematics to calculate the fiscal deficit? That would explain a lot…) Then […]

  • The Babu decided to find out whether it really does end happily ever after for fairy tale and other kidlit characters on the web. Red Riding Hood is a site for children’s book writers–but be careful, the big bad wolf pops up in the form of an ad asking whether you’d like to reset your […]

  • Does M Scott Peck live up to the precepts he preached in The Road Less Travelled? And if not, do you really think the man who launched a thousand me-too self-help gurus is going to tell The Guardian?

  • “If American reflects the principles Wal-Mart has lately espoused—prescriptive religion, sexism, corporate strong-arming to prevent unionization—it is bound to be dirtier than Redbook.” Slate on why Wal-Mart won’t carry Redbook any more.