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The simple magic of words
Nowadays, we’d like to assume that children prefer gadgets and do not like reading books. The Bookaroo Children’s Literature Festival, held in Delhi recently, proved that assumption wrong. A look at the various book-centric activities that mesmerised children…
Books

From the Blurb
Heaven On Earth: The Universe of Kerala’s Guruvayur Temple, Pepitha Seth, Niyogi Books, RS.2,995Heaven on Earth: The Universe of Kerala’s Guruvayur Temple takes the reader into the heart of this complex universe, ...


Interview


AUTHOR TO AUTHOR
An insider’s narrative of loss
Influenced by James Baldwin, Basharat Peer says he uses personal experiences and stories to talk about larger political issues. Excerpts from an interview with MOHAMMED HANIF.



IN CONVERSATION
Forever curious
He says he still plays with equations. Farrukh Dhondy on the long journey from quantum physics to a life in literature and his latest book, The Bikini Murders. Excerpts…


Tribute


TRIBUTE
Poet of the soul
As a poet Kersy Katrak did not get his due, but his poetry had yet to be fully explored and articulated when he died.


Columns


CLASSICS REVISITED
Thoreau’s truth
Walden is convincing because the vivid details of the woods, the pond, and the seasons are used as a metaphor of his vision of a good life.

Bookwatch
Courting Destiny, former Union Law Minister and senior advocate Shanti Bhushan’s memoirs began as a catharsis a decade ago after his wife died in May 1998. Written in fits and starts, the memoir provides a ringside view of some milestone ...

First Impressions
When Haji Hasan — now a renowned Parisian chef with more Michelin stars to his credit than he could ever have dreamed of — stops to take count of his life, his mind trawls way back to the year he was born: the second of six children ...


SECOND THOUGHTS
Long shadows of short stories
All a short story needs at its core is a moment; enigmatic, immense, unique.


ENDPAPER
Writers of the No
A slender, beautiful and honest work about invisible writers and their phantom books.


WORDSPEAK
Fabric called purple
With a fascinating lexical history, the colour reached English through a circuitous route.


Book Review


SCIENCE-FICTION
A humanist plea
Underlying Padmanabhan’s seeming preoccupation with the dystopian is a humanism that embraces all imperfections.


FICTION
Guessing games
Apart from the issue of whether the novel is based on Sobhraj’s life, Bikini Murders has nothing much to offer…

In the heart of darkness
Though it uses European cultural referents, Onitsha is an evocative and realistic depiction of imperialism in West Africa.


POPULAR  FICTION
Way of prurience
A narrative that attempts to capture the tribulations of sexuality.


PORTRAIT
Life of valour
Uncovering the role of a key player in Kashmir’s history.

Unending quest
An astonishing depiction of a journey that resists categorisation.

How green was my valley
Curfewed Night is an evocative and moving rendition of all that has happened in Kashmir over the last 20 years.


INNER  WORLDS
Modest idiom
An inclusive and inviting poetry, in the second person.


SOCIETY
Trajectory of injustice
Putting into perspective the outrages of caste oppression .


TRANSLATION
Echoes of the past
Many facets of poetry commenting on the world in the light of history.


CRIME
No thrills or frills
A verbose account that fritters away all its potential.


SHORT STORY
Auction
This story won the Commonwealth Short Story Award.


CRIME
True to course
P.D. James’ latest novel is, as usual, a gripping read.

Only for die-hard fans
A mundane plot and not-so-great writing.


VIGNETTES
Wonderfully liberating
A Page 3 perspective of life in Pakistan. As Butterfly sees it.


CRAFT
Collector’s dream
These two volumes will go a long way in creating awareness of the wealth of Indian textiles that we take for granted


FICTION
Acutely disappointing
Nowhere close to literary excellence nor an engaging read.


MEMOIRS
Witness to history
A very readable account of the events leading to Independence, Partition, and the first tentative steps of an infant nation.


Focus


REGIONAL LITERATURE
Ear to the ground
Writers from tribal and minority communities are sweeping across the Assamese literary scene. But are these the ones the middle-class Assamese are talking about?



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