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The derring-do that created the magic of Flashman

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I met George Macdonald Fraser when he was the features editor of the Glasgow Herald. He was a very good newspaperman on what was a fine daily paper.

Virgin voices

Author V. Sanjay Kumar  Photo: A R Anser

V. Sanjay Kumar’s Virgin Gingelly walks down the lanes of Madras, peeking into Brahmin households and tackling the notions of ‘identity’ in the ever-evolving city

The act of writing is a joy in itself: Pankaj Sekhsaria

Author Pankaj Sekhsaria

In his words, Pankaj Sekhsaria’s The Last Wave is a book about the islands and takes place in the islands.

Too hot for desi fans

A still from Fifty Shades of Grey

While fans are lapping up the official trailer of Fifty Shades of Grey, it’s also making many uncomfortable. A book translated into a film may not be what you truly expect.

Gentlemen killers of Kilvenmani

On December 25, 1968, 42 people — men, women and children — were burnt alive in the village of Kilvenmani in the east Tanjore district of Tamil Nadu. Meena Kandasamy’s debut novel, The Gypsy Goddess, is a fictionalised account of this tragedy that unfolded when a village refused to buckle down to a set of oppressive Naidu Mirasdars and stood firmly by the Marxist beliefs that were by then rooted in the village and the hearts of the dalit villagers.

Inheriting unhappiness

The Blind Lady’s Descendants
Rs 599

As suicide notes go, the 297-page long novel by Anees Salim is generously sized. The Blind Lady’s Descendants explores the unfortunate life and self-inflicted demise of its young protagonist Amar.

The Caribbean is a paradise, but only for the tourists

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A couple of years ago in Jamaica, I met Errol Flynn’s former wife, the screen actress Patrice Wymore.

Saas and sensibility: Veena Venugopal’s new book

Veena Venugopal

Veena Venugopal explores the urban woman's dynamics with her mother-in-law — from funny aspects to the dark tones

Despite being a hack for more than three decades, I am yet to be invited for any political iftar party. Thereby, no one can accuse me of holding a grouse against any leader for not marking an invite to me. Throughout his 13 years as the chief minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi never hosted one, breaking a tradition that his predecessor Keshubhai Patel followed.

Rarely in a diplomat’s career is one lucky enough to have a posting that is important and interesting, combining the elements of classic diplomacy with the new tools of development diplomacy, new media and social networks. Israel and India established full diplomatic relations just 22 years ago during the time of P.V. Narasimha Rao.