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Charlie Chaplin: The happiest little man that ever was

Two years and dozens of shorts later, Chaplin was a global favourite. Over time, the Tramp became an enduring icon and his creator a bit of a head case.

‘Be critical of your own work’

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Radhika Dhariwal’s book The Petpost Secret was inspired from a single image that of a squirrel, mongoose and crow on the road, fighting over a piece of bread.

Bigger Picture

Picture Abhi Baaki Hai, by Rachel Dwyer Hachette India  pp. 304, Rs 499

Film historian Rachel Dwyer finds the ‘imagined worlds of mainstream Hindi cinema’ a reliable guide to understand India’s dreams, hopes, fears and anxieties

An idyll to the idle Russian

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Oblomov, first published in 1859, is the charming tale of a lazy but lovable aristocrat in 19th-century Russia.

Shades of women

Primal Woman by Sunil Gangopadhyay Harper Perennial, Rs 399

I must start with a confession.

20 years and 200 Tests

Final test: Exit Sachin Tendulkarby Dilip D’Souza Random House, Rs 299

The final hours in flannel

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Funnyman Cyrus broacha writes like he talks, and he likes to write to make people smile. his new book is a satirical take on a power-obsessed society

The final hours in flannel 20 years, 200 Tests

On the morning of November 14, 2013, Dilip D’Souza looked outside his Mumbai home, at the big black gate across the street. A huge press contingent was waiting, but waiting for what, he wondered.

Shades of women

I must start with a confession. I’ve never read anything by Sunil Gangopadhyay before, even though I’ve often picked up copies of his translated works and read the blurbs, wondering if I should get them or not. There are two reasons for this vacillation and ultimate rejection.

  • 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.

Now that the protests are fizzling out, it’s worth asking what exactly they managed to accomplish. I see two major effects.