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.
Part realistically imagined historical reverie, yet rooted in Kerala’s 20th century diversity, this novel is a skilful construction of myth and memory
The royal masque in Akbar’s glittering court at Fatehpur Sikri is occasion for Sealy’s exquisite poem-prose, decorated with words, absences and old longing
Southal’s Punjabi widows lead lives of abject pettiness, yet explode into lurid sexual thoughts when prompted. This novel unearths their buried desires.
Amit Chaudhuri revisits Bombay, and collapses into a post-modern echo chamber, where authorship and memory are tossed up. Is this really a novel?
A biography of Istanbul tells of Justinian, the cult of Mary, its cosmopolitan, progressive core and its Ottoman past with lightly-worn scholarship
The Indian Railways is a country—with its own history, customs, smells, even architecture. This anecdotal, yet serious account stops at all stations.
A pioneering work on protest music in 20th century India looks into the musicality of IPTA songs and their absorption of genres far and near
Fickleness is an espionage asset, but Bhagat Ram Talwar, its great master, spun circles around his Russian, British and German handlers during WWII
The novel inhabits the forgotten world of early blues, while fakery and the fantastic, served in overlapping narratives, keeps a steady, modernist beat
The meaning of the most common term for something offering sensual and aesthetic pleasure is analysed to the bones by groups of expert professionals
A veteran of our space programme tells a proud, brick-by-brick story of ISRO, built by a band of idealistic young scientists and keen international exchanges
Deepak Unnikrishnan’s first novel teleports through the Malayali-Gulf experience
Deepak Unnikrishnan’s explosive debut novel Temporary People, a dystopian portrayal of life of Malayalis in the Gulf, has got rave reviews abroad and he is being hailed as the fresh, young voice in fiction. Here, first excerpts from the exceptional book.
Travails rule the life of a shepherd who is in the bondage of a landlord. Celebrated Tamil writer Perumal Murugan revisits his thematic home of caste, class and oppression in this new edition.
Srinivas Reddy’s translation serves Kalidasa’s masterpiece of pining love well. A lyrical effort seeks out the slow rhythms of the mandakranta metre.
Wedded to ‘liberalisation’, India has delivered its public health system to private sharks. This book is a plea to correct this terrible mistake.
Shahjahanabad, once among the world’s glories, is seen as a chaotic sore. Liddle attempts an image reversal through a historical retelling of its urban culture.
The seductions and snares of nationalism are working at many frontiers in India. Last year’s charged, open-air lectures on it at JNU are a compelling read.