Tag Archives: Lit feature

Home of horrors

Joe Sacco and Chris Hedges combine efforts to draw a poignant, disturbing picture of post-capitalist America ♦ Black and white truth has little place in the slippery grey of liberal opinion. Poverty porn or slum tourism are easy dismissals of writing on the human fallout of consumer capitalism. And plenty of people make a fetish […]

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Published: 11. 10. 2013 | Comments: 0

A Conversation With: Shamsur Rahman Faruqi

A Conversation With: Literary Critic and Novelist Shamsur Rahman Faruqi ♦ India’s literary establishment is abuzz about the recently published novel “The Mirror of Beauty,” a 984-page fictional account about the life and times of Wazir Khanam, the mother of the famed Urdu poet Daag Dehalvi, set mostly in Delhi and its environs during the […]

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Published: 17. 07. 2013 | Comments: 0

Portrait of a lady

The last century of Mughal rule comes to life in The Mirror of Beauty, Shamsur Rahman Faruqi’s compelling picture of Delhi and its wider world ♦    View as PDF Beloved of poets and coveted by kings, conquered and constructed again and again, Delhi in its present avatar is a tough city to love. Yet many […]

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Published: 15. 07. 2013 | Comments: 0

Going off script

A cross-border blog spreads the word of South Asian literature ♦ In India, Pakistani writers in English are considered common property. Their books are often published here first, and writers like Mohammed Hanif, Mohsin Hamid, Kamila Shamsie and Nadeem Aslam frequent our literary festivals. But when it comes to contemporary Hindi or Urdu fiction crossing the […]

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Published: 12. 04. 2013 | Comments: 0

Cracks in the pavement

Setting out to rediscover Calcutta, Amit Chaudhuri rejuvenates the genre of city writing ♦ Cities have been the incubators of literature since at least the time of Plato in Athens, or of Kabir in Kashi. In turn, they have also played muse, inspiring an entire metropolis of fiction and non-fiction that attempts to describe them. […]

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Published: 15. 03. 2013 | Comments: 0

The spectacle of books

Notes from the Jaipur Literature Festival ♦ “This is literature as spectacle” — the phrase was a common refrain at the recently concluded DSC Jaipur Literature Festival. I heard it uttered, worriedly, by publishers, sceptical that all the song and dance would translate into sales. I heard it from journalists, expounding between complaints of the […]

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Published: 31. 01. 2013 | Comments: 0

Flaps over jackets

What’s behind the various covers of Indian books? ♦ On the US edition of Behind the Beautiful Forevers, a girl squats in a swamp, surrounded by a slum. Her face, tilted towards a pale, yellow sky, could reflect grief or devotion. The UK and India edition’s cover is the polar opposite – saturated with shades […]

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Published: 04. 06. 2012 | Comments: 0

Bridges, not barriers

Delhi’s new literary festival is an appropriately polyglot affair ♦ If India is, as Mark Twain put it, “the country of a hundred nations and a hundred tongues”, then Delhi is the place where all  these nations and tongues inevitably meet. This fortnight, a new festival acknowledges the importance of the capital as a literary destination […]

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Published: 02. 12. 2011 | Comments: 0

Found in translation

The man behind a flood of translations is swept up in his work ♦ Nearly 15 years had passed since Arunava Sinha translated Chowringhee at the request of the Bengali classic’s author, Sankar. Back then, in 1992, Sinha was embarking on his professional career and considered his bridge translation (an English draft for a French edition) […]

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Published: 04. 10. 2011 | Comments: 0

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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Published: 04. 08. 2011 | Comments: 0