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Sunday, March 07, 2004
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America inside out
Some of the most important stories of contemporary America are being written by immigrant writers says S. SHANKAR.
Bird man of Edinburgh
ON the morning of July 21, 1826, a striking figure stepped off the Delos, a cotton schooner that was docked in Liverpool following a lengthy voyage from New Orleans. With his aquiline profile, unfashionable dress, strange accent and ...
FACE TO FACE
"I am not `reportedly' difficult as you once wrote," he frowns. "I am older now, mellow, no longer prickly or touchy. I've learnt to accept what one gets, give as much as one can." But say something he doesn't like and Marathi playwright ...
Spaces of discovery
"KAMILA SHAMSIE will be here in a few minutes. She's finishing with her class." Soon, the Pakistani writer walks into the green room. In Chennai recently as the "writer-in-residence" for a week at the Stella Maris College, ...
What is Literature?
A writer who takes political, social or literary positions must act only with the means that are his. These means are the writer's words. Jean Paul Sartre: On refusing the Nobel Prize for Literature, 1964 IN his time, ...
THE VIEW FROM KING STREET
CHRISTOPHER HURST looks at a phenomenon of urban life, and its connection with one of the greatest maritime disasters of all time.
PENGUIN India's Republic Day offering, The Definitive Images: 1858 to the Present, is not just what the title suggests a photographic history of India since the First War of Independence or what British historians dismissed as the ...
WHAT is it about the Raj that inspires reams and reams from writers? Ploughing through 632 pages of descriptions, more descriptions on deceit, convoluted love stories intertwined with vague flashes of nostalgia often makes for heavy reading. So ...
The many uses of a ladle
IT is strange how things connected with food become a part of your house with their utilities changing over the years. When I first left for a small village-town to be a schoolteacher, my mother thought that the most important thing I would need ...
HERE'S how you spot a literary mystery: The Dante Club (2003) by Mathew Pearl: in which four renowned American poets track down a serial killer in Boston at the turn of the century. The killer models the deaths of his victims after Dante's ...
On the Bollywood beat
FOLLOWING last month's "Wordspeak" on the use of cancer as metaphor in the context of politics, a number of readers wrote back pointing out metaphors and euphemisms frequently used in the Indian media. Some suggested wildly imaginative similes, ...
Browsing the Book Fair
RANJIT LAL recounts the many simple pleasures that awaited him at the Delhi Book Fair.
The feminine mystique
`Was Margaret Cavendish really mad, or just an eccentric? The search for an answer resulted in this book... '
`The four books together inform, provoke, disturb and stimulate, creating a long-needed space for modernity and rationality in a world dominated by... relativist discourse.'
City that was
`At times, it is difficult to escape the feeling that the Chennai that is recalled by more than one writer is the very same Madras as it existed some 40 or 50 years ago.'
Words from within
`There is genuine attempt to locate, or rather create, poetry in life's real images and situations.'
From the blurb
Who's who in Twentieth-Century World Poetry, edited by Mark Willhardt with Alan Michael Parker, Routledge, p.356, Rs. 325. Distributed in India by Foundation ...
The will to live
`The book is ultimately a paean to man's fighting spirit... '
Not yet a master
`Siddharth Chowdhury seems a writer who has yet to touch base with himself. Until he does, he remains an untapped lode with an uncharted destination.'
Poet of the exiled
`Ultimately, like many poets of his time, Bose's work is about understanding the "invisible darkness" from where our lives spring.'
Jolly good yarn
`Choosing between right and wrong and accepting the consequences of that choice seem to be a part of the quest undertaken by the heroes of fantasy.'
Back to the beginnings
`Naik's volume reminds us that it didn't all begin with Salman Rushdie. It takes us back to a literature of our own that was nonetheless less self-involved, closely wedded to the freedom movement and reform movements of the 20th Century.'
Matters of the heart
`Anita Brookner scorns faddishness, and deploys, in its place, a relentless moral scrutiny.'
`Abol Tabol is satirical in nature but contained within the subtle and often obvious humour, is a vast tragic vision.'
Missing the Maidan
The Kolkata Book Fair will no more be held at the Maidan. Will it ever be the same again, asks NEHA PRASAD.
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