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PAKISTANI WRITING
A voice of their own
Often overshadowed by their Indian counterparts in the past, Pakistani writers are beginning to be appreciated and accepted for the unique flavour they bring to their writing, for exploring the myths and stereotypes in the West about Pakistan and Islam.



PUBLISHING
Making a difference
Twelve independent women publishers have changed the name of the game.
Books

From the blurb
Rites of passage never got so earthy as in journaist Avijit Ghosh’s earthy account of boy-to-manhood in fictional Ganesh Nagar, a district that could exist in India anytime, anywhere.Bandicoots in the Moonlight; Avijit ...


Interview


IN CONVERSATION
Transcending contradictions
Like the country, important aspects of which he has chronicled, Pavan K. Varma encapsulates within himself diversities, complexities and simplicities. Excerpts from a conversation…


Tribute

Lines in memoriam
Niranjan Mohanty, noted poet and Professor of English at Visva Bharati, passed away recently at Santiniketan. Remembering the man and his contribution to poetry and translation…


REMINISCENCE
Remembering Nissim Ezekiel
A fitting tribute to a poet who was the centre of the Indo-English poetic scene for half a century.


Columns


CLASSICS REVISITED
Gibran’s prophet motive



BOOK WATCH
Traffic deconstructed
Traffic: Why We Drive The Way We Do (And What It Says About Us), Tom Vanderbilt, Allen Lane.Here’s a book that’s easy to relate to. That’s how omnipresent traffic is, and, has been since days long by-gone as Tom ...

First impressions
If this were a monopoly board game, I’d lose. Look at the scene. Young chick falling in and out of love. Stop at various stations that say go to hell or, better still, get into bed or make a long-lasting impression. If all this fails, give ...


SECOND THOUGHTS
The Exile
An extract from Navtej Sarna’s novel The Exile, based on the life of Maharaja Duleep Singh, being published by Penguin/Viking this month.


WORDSPEAK
Language of clothes
More on the etymology of fabric names.


ENDPAPER
Master of bibliophilic revel
A chance encounter with a genius led to the emergence of an eloquent and witty bookman: Alberto Manguel.


Book Review


SOCIETY
At the crossroads
Mahfouz’s classic novel captures the existential choices at the juncture of transition from tradition to modernity.


CONSERVATION
Wildlife primer
An introduction to Indian wildlife that doesn’t offer anything different from what is already available.


THRILLER
Portrait of a metro
What remains with us at the end is the image of the complex, amoral Delhi which attracts and repels at the same time.


FICTION
Doesn’t work
Unconvincing characters and a writing style that tells more than it shows — The Cambridge Curry Club doesn’t seem to get anything right.


CULTURAL STUDIES
To veil or not to veil
An excellent collection that looks at the purdah as an object of mystery, oppression and power.

The way to enlightenment
A book that does not take itself too seriously and gets most things about India right…

A spiritual journey
Brida suffers in comparison to Coelho’s other books, but works well within its own framework.


TRANSLATION
Reclaiming ourselves
Part of our fascination with Saratchandra is the desire to see what we could have become had we not become ‘impure’ or ‘modern’.


NEW VOICES
Dialogues with daemons
This novel affirms that being authentically creative with one’s own emotions and thoughts is a healing play, a leela.


HISTORY
The mind behind the consummate politician
A perspective from ancient Rome.


POETRY
Verse in text mode
Despite the possibilities, most poems lack a sense of completeness. VIJAY NAMBISAN


ESSAYS
A world of books
Scholarly and entertaining, Prabhakara’s is an eclectic range.


FOLKLORE
With a sense of wonder
A painstaking exploration of a society that has an essentially oral cultural history.


FICTION
Of guilt, grief and growing up
A work that bows to the greats that have gone before, but stands upright in its own space.



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