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While another is resurrected

First, a confession. I have never cared much for Hercule Poirot.

One detective bows out

Henning Mankell

Henning Mankell could not have imagined how successful the Inspector Wallander mysteries would be when, 23 years ago, he published the first in the series.

‘Perseverance and discipline are the keys’

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Ruchita Misra’s love for words began in a Lucknow house that her father packed with books.

High-octane thriller

Mindhunters poster

A journalist with an army background races to unravel the terror plot and seize the bomb even as the body count piles up

‘I’m not the best of writers’

Chetan says his aim is to reach people in the rural areas.

Writer Chetan Bhagat has changed the landscape of Indian publishing. He was in the capital recently to deliver a lecture at his alma mater

Old rivalries, new battles

William Dalrymple’s account of the British invasion of Afghanistan or the First Afghan War in Return of a King: An Indian Army in Afghanistan may well be a text set in modern-day Afghanistan.

The desperadoes

Outlaws
Rs 350

I picked up Outlaws by Javier Cercas with a fistful of salt. After all, I had never heard of or read the author before or too many other contemporary Spanish authors. I wondered if I would be engaged by a book set in post-Franco Spain about juvenile delinquents and gangsters.

Empire: Rags, riches & respectability

Ten Cities that Made an Empire, By Tristram Hunt Allen Lane pp. 514, £25

In a grand history of the British empire because that is what this book really is you might expect more hand-wringing from a historian and Labour MP who has previously written a life of Engels.

  • 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.

After four hours of driving, we should have been in the middle of Dartmoor. And yet we were not.

During Gen Pervez Musharraf’s time a television host asked Benazir Bhutto (BB) about the low attendance at the Pakistan People’s Party jalsas that had just taken place.