Interview

Vikram Seth: A Life in Verse

An interview with Vikram Seth ♦ A version of this interview was originally published in India Today. After the buzz around BBC’s adaptation of A Suitable Boy, a new collector’s series of Vikram Seth’s poetry puts the spotlight on the author’s poetic accomplishments. The seven volumes showcase the breadth of Seth’s genius and the recurrent …

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Writing in Past Continuous

An interview with Sunjeev Sahota ♦ A version of this interview was originally published in India Today. By his own admission, British writer Sunjeev Sahota’s novels “tend to come down to a few brown people living in north England or India”. But within this framework, Sahota wove richly detailed lives and unique voices in his …

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The Great Defender

Appupen’s Rashtraman comics use ribald humour to reflect political reality ♦ This story was originally published in India Today. On November 28, Appupen put up an installment from his new comic book Rashtrayana II: Divide and Fool, which is being serialized on Brainded, the website and collective he co-founded five years ago. The chapter featured …

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Invisible Man

Aravind Adiga imagines Australia refracted through an immigrant’s eyes ♦ Originally published in India Today. We use the word apocalypse, and these days frequently, to describe the end of the world. But its literal meaning, from ancient Greek, is “uncovering”. No one can say for sure whether Covid-19 is our omega, but there’s no doubt …

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Mother of Invention

Perumal Murugan remembers Amma in his latest book. ♦ Originally published in India Today. I’d been waiting a couple of days to hear back from the writer Perumal Murugan, via an editor who promised to translate my questions into Tamil and his replies to English. That this kind of exchange is possible at all is …

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The Great Trotter Resurrection

Irwin Allan Sealy’s Trotter-Nama comes alive for the third time. ♦ Originally published in India Today. It’s hard to imagine that the author of a book as gargantuan, complex and exuberant as The Trotter-Nama ever suffered such a crisis of faith in his creation — which had been out of print for an extended period — that …

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The Book of Waswo

The new miniatures from the studio of Waswo X. Waswo are as captivating as his latest photobook. ♦ Originally published in India Today. Nearly two decades ago, when Waswo X. Waswo was travelling in Pushkar, a group of camel herders started referring to him as “Chacha”. “The name just stuck,” the artist tells me in …

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Floods and Streams of Anarchy

William Dalrymple discusses his new book on the rise of the East India Company ♦ Originally published in Mumbai Mirror.  â€œAt the dawn of the nineteenth century all seemed dark; the stars were paling, and it was not by any means plain what the day was likely to be,” wrote orientalist historian HG Keene in …

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