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Book Reviews

Kabul chronicler comes to town

Nicolas Wild

French graphic novelist Nicolas Wild, the author of the Kabul Disco books, an illustrated narrative of his experiences in Afghanistan — is in the city for the Mumbai Film and Comic Con that starts on

Mythical hero ripe for reinvention

Shatrujeet Nath

After his debut book, The Karachi Deception, Shatrujeet Nath is back with a fantasy fiction on the Vikramaditya trilogy.

Looking at the history of high heels

Killer Heels:  The Art of the  High-Heeled Shoe. Edited by Lisa Small DelMonico Books-Prestel pp. 224, Rs 2,995.19

Shakespeare mentions high heels in Hamlet, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg praised them and fashion designers from Dior to Manolo Blahnik have bewitched women and men with their versions.

An inventive plot makes Five click

By Ursula Archer  Minotaur pp. 336, `1,334

Geocaching the contemporary treasure hunt in which a GPS is used to find hidden objects lends itself to an intriguing melding of a gripping police procedural and an exciting update of the puzzle myste

The untold story of Bangladesh

By Salil Tripathi Aleph, 2014 pp. 382, Rs 595

Tripathi’s narrative is from a human perspective, from the level of an enquirer interacting with real life actors

A Bollywood scandal

Gajra Kottary

A Bollywood family saga of love and betrayal, and an insider’s view of the industry where fame is fleeting and everything is as real as it is dramatic

‘No selfies with Modi’

For India, 2014 was the year of locked horns. We locked horns with friends over Modi and the definition of secularism, over the Congress and dynasty rule, over 1984 and 2002, over the “idea of India” many of us grew up with, an idea that was now trapped between “Pappu” and “Feku”.

A sense of home


What makes a place home? Is it something that implies a sense of belonging? A sense of having stakes in the place or its collective life perhaps?

‘A good writer has to submit to the story’

Ashok K. Banker

Ashok K. Banker’s childhood is not the kind you expect when you read the mythology books he has written.

  • Including Americans pointless, says Peter Carey

    Australian author Peter Carey, who has twice won the Booker Prize for Fiction, slammed the decision to open the Commonwealth award to US writers, as judges prepared to announce the 2014 winner on Tuesday.

    Two US authors are among the six nominees for 2014 Man Booker, one of the highest-profile prizes in English-language literature, with the winner to be announced in a glitzy ceremony at London’s Guildhall late on Tuesday night.

    “There was and there is a real Commonwealth culture. It’s different. America doesn’t really feel to be a part of that,” Carey, 71, told the Guardian newspaper.

    The annual Man Booker Prize was until now awarded for the best original full-length novel written in English by a citizen of the Commonwealth, Ireland or Zimbabwe. But, in 2014, the judges widened the field to any author writing originally in English, so long as their novel is published in Britain within the 12-month entry period. Opening the prize, called the Man Booker since 2002, to US novelists was a bid to establish the prize as the English-speaking world’s foremost literary award.

    “I find it unimaginable that the Pulitzer or the National Book Award people in the United States would ever open their prizes to Brits and Australians. They wouldn’t,” said Carey, one of only three novelists to have scooped the prize twice.

    The winner of the prize receives £50,000, but the award which began in 1969 guarantees a huge upsurge in book sales and a worldwide readership.

    Bookmakers have put Britain’s Indian-born Neel Mukherjee as the 5/2 favourite for The Lives of Others, ahead of Richard Flanagan of Australia with The Narrow Road to the Deep North on 3/1 and then Britain’s Ali Smith at 4/1 for How to be Both.

    Britain’s 2010 winner Howard Jacobson is fourth-favourite at 9/2 with J, ahead of US contenders Karen Joy Fowler on 11/2 with We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves and Joshua Ferris at 8/1 for To Rise Again at a Decent Hour.

    “Oddly this year, the American writers are the two outsiders,” Graham Sharpe, spokesman for bookmakers William Hill, told AFP. “Neel Mukherjee has become the clear favourite,” he said.

Earlier this month, energy minister Piyush Goyal announced that the proposed amendments to the Electricity Act, 2003, will allow consumers to exercise their choice to select the electricity supplier.

This may be Narendra Modi’s government, but India may be on its way to becoming Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s republic. The signs point that way.