Nadia Murad was a Yazidi peasant girl in a small village called Kochu in northern Iraq. The ISIS attacked her village, killed almost all the men, including her six brothers, and took the women as sex slaves. Excerpt from Murad’s horrific, and courageous, memoir, The Last Girl.
Naina Devi’s personal journey across varied elite strata makes for a great story. So is her early talent as a thumri singer, its cessation, and its later continuation.
Ismat Chughtai was a doyenne of Urdu literature. These essays throw light on her fiercely original voice vis-a-vis the demands of the Progressive Movement.
Fresh insights into the Sino-Indian war in Bertil Lintner’s new book are but diversions. All he does is stick close to the Indian version—a monstrous historical falsehood.
A 100 years back, a group of American women changed astronomy. Their story, hidden under a sexist shroud, is uncovered in this engaging book.
Her claim to a major role in socialist politics and self-defence in the Tehelka sting affair fills up Jaya Jaitly’s memoir. Much of it stretches credulity too.
A new biography of Gorbachev charts his career—his grand policies which he couldn’t enforce, and his concessions to the West that weren’t reciprocated
The trading economy of Indian cotton and its colonial destruction are described well in this journey. It’s in its recent miles that there are gaps.
A doting biography from a wife charts Rajesh Pilot’s life. Yet as regards some high points of his political life, this is a curiously incomplete account.
An interesting addition to constitutional history throws light on Ambedkar, his life’s project on Dalit rights and his tussles with Gandhi and Patel
Ruchi Ram Sahni was an iconoclast who tirelessly attacked social evils and colonialism. His personal odyssey through pre-Partition Punjab is a treasure.
A bright provincial boy gets cozened into being a godman, swings into the spirit of the pelf-and-power ring and then, inexplicably, gives it up all
An age-old system of privilege propels the Indian elite. Interrogating caste, colonialism and scholarship, these essays skewer the canker amidst us.
Shimon Peres’s dream of reconciliation with Palestinians amid silent guns lies crushed. But resolving that main issue is integral to the Zionist dream.
An anthology of Indian stories picks gems from the hinterland, where old hungers meet new needs and where the possessed react to modern standards
The ’50s wasn’t a placid pool of idealism. In grappling with the Partition and forging a new polity, it fashioned modern India. This wide-angle view serves it well.
Sardesai’s playing XI is unrealistic, the subject’s stories familiar. Only when he dons the garb of a journalist do the stories yield extra spin and bite.
Some subtlety would have spared Nawaz the blushes, but this is about a sensitive man, pummelled by relentless humiliation, finally breaking out
This dark atmospheric text about Francis Newton Xavier, poet and painter, bristles with the nature of the two arts, solitude and hangers-on
More than Mortimer Durand’s arbitrary line that sliced the Pashtun homeland, this valuable book, anti-colonial in tone, is an account of the Great Game
The way we’re going, machines will take over. Out of this old sci-fi hat, Dan Brown fashions a scintillating adventure with AI jostling with religion.
Militaries have a stranglehold on the political economies of Southeast Asian nations. This superb work of research illuminates them like never before.
With their subtle colouring of death, caste, music and natural life, and often about women staring challenges out, Ambai’s stories whisper quotidian tales
Jholawala Dreze’s ‘research for action’ gets close to the people at the end of public policy. These essays urge greater collaboration between activists and economists.
The advent of television spawned the first of the ads that were truly Indian in flavour. Pops Sridhar looks at the iconic ones that triggered our common dreams.
Within its slim girth, Manu Joseph’s new novel manages a bilious survey of things held dear in India, including bearded overlords and an ageing crime
Alone among WWII belligerents, Soviet women saw frontline action. Their voices, stifled for long by a disparaging state, speak eloquently.
A new economic history of Asia springs forth on several daring proposals. Annual visitors to Tokyo’s Yasukuni shrine will be most pleased, though.
Calcutta—city of broken dreams and of crusty, magnetic charm. A young hack’s progress through its florid past and dented present winks at death itself.