Tag: Booklove

  • In Translation: Subimal Mishra, the anti-storyteller

    In Translation: Subimal Mishra, the anti-storyteller

    “I do not want my writing to be converted into a commodity, or be capable of being digested in the intestines of middle-class babudom,” Subimal Misra wrote in his 1982 work, Actually This Could Have Become Ramayan Chamar’s Tale. There is little chance of this happening. The two collections of his short stories that have […]

  • The Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize: shortlists from 2008

    The Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize: shortlists from 2008

    The prize was set up to “encourage authors from the subcontinent” in honour of Shakti Bhatt, writer and editor of Bracket Books, who passed away after a brief illness on March 31, 2007, at the age of 26. For authors, this is a very special prize — because it’s the only Indian prize for first […]

  • Translations: Falling Walls, Upendranath Ashk

    Translations: Falling Walls, Upendranath Ashk

    (Introducing a monthly column on books in translation. The only rule the column plans to follow is on language: if the book under review is from one of the three Indian language I can read, I will attempt a comparison with the original. If a book under review is from one of the many Indian […]

  • Speaking Volumes: The Pleasure of Reading

    Speaking Volumes: The Pleasure of Reading

    There is a word for the awkward way people stand when examining other people’s bookshelves: ahenny. Douglas Adams made it up, and it is best used like this: “She was standing ahenny when he entered; he understood at once that he had been judged for his books and found wanting.” I wish some other benefactor […]

  • Journal: Reading with intent

    Journal: Reading with intent

    There was a time in my twenties and thirties when I read (or speed-read) about 30-40 books a month, as part of my job as a book reviewer and columnist. In some weeks, the number of books I read ran higher than 10, though 15 was the maximum I could safely attempt. People almost always […]

  • Booklove: The Sound of Things Falling

    Booklove: The Sound of Things Falling

    (Published in the Business Standard, June 16, 2014) It is only once in a while that animal tragedies impinge on human consciousness: the pathos of their suffering has to be extreme in order to jump the queue of human misery. Some weeks ago, a Copenhagen zoo culled Marius, a giraffe with the soft nose and […]

  • Speaking Volumes: The listener and the storyteller

    Speaking Volumes: The listener and the storyteller

    (Published in the Business Standard, June 2, 2014) http://blogs.wfmt.com/offmic/2014/05/28/web-exclusive-maya-angelou/ In 1970, an interviewer whose collection of oral narratives would transform North America’s sense of history had a long chat with an author whose memories of her own history would transform the lives of thousands across the world. The recording of that interview between Studs Terkel […]

  • Booklove: KD Singh, Delhi’s gentle bookseller

    Booklove: KD Singh, Delhi’s gentle bookseller

    (Published in the Business Standard, May 26, 2014) The Book Shop in Delhi was a lot like the magical places of fantasy described in the books it carried: larger on the inside than it seemed from the outside. The space it occupied in the lives of city readers was far broader than the compact premises […]

  • Booklove: Coolie Woman, and Immigrant #96153

    Booklove: Coolie Woman, and Immigrant #96153

    (Published in the Business Standard, Tuesday, 12th November, 2013; this is the last of the weekly columns I’ve been writing for the paper for over 15 years. From December, the column will continue, but I’m shifting to once-a-month to make time for other kinds of writing.)   On 29th July 1903, the woman whom Gaiutra […]

  • 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 […]