Books

Literary reviews , interviews and other features.

Damn nation

 Siddartha Deb finds life less than shiny in the new India ♦ In The Beautiful and Damned, F Scott Fitzgerald’s profligate main characters embody the two adjectives in the title. The novel – an attempt to critique the excesses of America’s jazz age – ended up as a rather self-indulgent byproduct of it instead. Fitzgerald’s narrative …

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The fandom

The universe of Indian comics collectors and geeks is expanding ♦ This article is part of a cover package on new directions in Indian comics “I had about 5,000 comics when I stopped counting,” said Mayank Khurana. “That was about ten years ago.” In his library, Khurana has shelves organised by country and publisher, figurines and …

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RT Book Reviews

Magazine review ♦ Name: RT Book Reviews Circulation: 70,000 Date of Birth: 1981 Frequency: Monthly Price: $4.99 In a little brick building in Brooklyn, the offices of RT Book Reviews (formerly known as Romantic Times) are divided between two suites. In one, paperbacks and curios line shelves set in converted fireplaces and against a wall painted with pink …

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Sex and Sidi

Meet Sidi Ibrahima, a pulp fiction author in Harlem ♦ Harlem’s 125th Street is a bazaar of cottage industry products: incense and earrings, knit hats and demo CDs. But the goods on one table near Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard are more colorful than the rest. Bright books with racy covers are spread over the stand. …

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Charred minars

Pakistani novelist Kamila Shamsie surveys the world from Guantanamo to Peshawar in an interview ♦ Extending from the callousness of the Nagasaki bombing to the compassion of a spider whose web hid the Prophet Mohammed, Pakistani author Kamila Shamsie’s fifth novel, Burnt Shadows, won praise from critics for its scope and detailing. Shamsie’s characters survive (or …

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Like a surgeon

In Abraham Verghese’s debut novel, fate is stitched together with sutures ♦ Abraham Verghese is a man of science and fact. His experiences as a doctor in small-town Tennessee in the mid-1980s during the early years of the AIDS epidemic led to his first book, the well-received My Own Country: A Doctor’s Story.  After a flurry …

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Eternal outsider

Abraham Verghese talks about Cutting for Stone and the idea of home ♦ This interview was conducted for a feature in Time Out Delhi. Could you tell me a bit about how your family came to be in Ethiopia and the background of Malayalis in that country? I am told that Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia …

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Walk the chawk with Sam Miller

Delhi: Adventures in a Megacity ♦ Journalist Sam Miller’s new book Delhi: Adventures in a Megacity describes the British expat’s walks around town, which followed the same spiral route he’d laid out for himself. We phoned him as he was commuting, by foot, from his office in Hauz Khas to his home in Panchsheel. “I’ll …

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Building blokes

The Modern Architecture of New Delhi ♦ Rahul Khanna, owner of Below8 bar, and Manav Parhawk, a fashion photographer, teamed up to explore Delhi’s modern architecture. Their book, The Modern Architecture of New Delhi: 1928-2007, reads like a series of monographs. Sonal Shah spoke to Khanna and Parhawk about how they came to see their …

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