Gandhi unfurled his radical plans against rampant caste prejudice and untouchability shrewdly. Kolge’s lucid study is a brilliant analytical effort.
Sindhi nationalism predates the call for Pakistan, but was brutally suppressed later. Pakistan’s youngest political prisoner was part of it.
The story of the Indian railways is braided with that of modernity itself. Its immense socio-cultural importance is superbly laid out in this book.
In 1990, the Pressler Amendment blocked arms sales to Pakistan. Its author, Senator Larry Pressler, writes in this book about the makings of US foreign policy in those years, the stranglehold US lobbyists have over nations and the competing claims of India and Pakistan. Excerpts:
Society judged women’s scientific temperament harshly. This book explains the latest science—spurious and convincing—that hovers around the old bias.
A father and a son fall out over the treatment of the cook; a sloth bear and its owner make another tale. These inter-connected stories are a pleasure to read.
Why Scams Are Here To Stay the book, The Hindu's group chairman N. Ram says, is an attempt to “understand what kind of animal corruption is in India”.
K.M. Munshi’s fiction did much to fashion a rigid Gujarati stand on history and identity. This novel, barring a new introduction, has little literary merit.
Pesticides sprayed from above destroyed lives in the hills of Kasargod. This novel borrows from myth and magical realism to convey that real horror.
India is grossly under-policed and the force is badly used. Balachandran has suggestions, including that of a central police with all-India jurisdiction.
Can an age-old phenomenon like globalisation ever be whittled down to ten lives? Garten’s brave sally has excellent sketches, but is a partial account.
The Sri Lankan modernist George Keyt led a bohemian life. In art, he was as voracious, being influenced by medieval Indian painting, as also Cubism.
Wendy Doniger looks into the trope of jewellery that occurs so prolifically in myth, literature and culture and ties it to a wellspring of desire and eroticism
One of India’s first female film editors, Patil’s story, shorn of self-pity, weaves personal and professional life and is also about breaking barriers
The great Qurratulain Hyder could be wonderfully gossipy yet notoriously tetchy. Jameel Akhtar brings out the real person, her world and her creations.
Lord Jagannatha’s Ratha Yatra is one of the great ritual showpieces in Hinduism. This meticulous study lists all, but leaves out the fascinating history.
Nadeem Aslam’s novelistic Lahore bristles with rage, hatred and a demonic energy, taking a magnifying glass to Pakistan’s faultlines
The horrific excess of the Inquisition in Goa is fertile ground for a writer. But this Konkani novel is an error-prone travesty at best.
Arresting imagery and details bolster Salim’s realistic, sensual portrayal of the opposite pulls of small and big town life, as the Grim Reaper waits patiently
A stolidly varied ‘Indian’ background, swirling passions in liberal Mussoorie, his parents’ courtship, his prompt arrival and Granny’s house—snatches from an old foxtrot
Zahir Dehlvi isn’t a very reliable narrator, but his memoir describes the Mutiny in Delhi vividly. This is a loose translation of an important source.
Paleo-biologist Hope Jahren is at hand to show the wonder that is a tree. Among the thick foliage hangs the story of her struggle as a scientist.
Edouard Louis’s brutalising in his rough, provincial France has a direct connect to its right-wing rage. This is not charmingly evocative, but clinical.
When the refusal of ‘the new normal’ takes fictional form, what comes out is a sprawling tale of the triumph of broken lives—blossoms cutting defiantly through rock
The story-strands in Arundhati Roy's new novel 'The Ministry of Utmost Happiness', spin out to encompass and tie up almost all the themes that drove her non-fiction in the 20 years since her first novel, but it's also a vision of dark, comic-fabulist genius.
An anatomy of demonetisation, with little empirical data, sums up well, also directing the Centre’s eyes to issues nearer black money
Amjad Ali Khan’s recollections of 11 great classical musicians do have well-known details, but his anecdotes are lit up by a sense of ‘ethereality’
Sonal Mansingh’s metier enveloped her soul. At the forefront of a renaissance in performing arts post 1947, this is a celebration of a life danced to the full.
Getting into Jayalalitha’s shoes, Outlook’s Tamil Nadu correspondent reviews a book that seems to be only a poor caricature of Amma.
This engaging history of the RBI—rich in events and tales of conflict over policy—effectively ends in 1981. What brings up the rear is biased, tepid stuff.