Books
Notes From A Tail Gunner’s Diary
Books Magazine July 24, 2017
Excerpt
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:
Drinking From A False Glory
Books Magazine July 17, 2017
Review
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.
Augustus Loses To Iron Lady
Books Magazine July 10, 2017
Review
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.
Nothing Is In Soft Focus
Books Magazine July 03, 2017
Review
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
  • Review
    The great Qurratulain Hyder could be wonderfully gossipy yet notoriously tetchy. Jameel Akhtar brings out the real person, her world and her creations.
  • Review
    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.
So Then, What’ve You Seen?
Books Magazine June 26, 2017
Review
Nadeem Aslam’s novelistic Lahore bristles with rage, hatred and a demonic energy, taking a magnifying glass to Pakistan’s faultlines
  • Review
    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.
  • Review
    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
Trysts Under The Deodars
Books Magazine June 19, 2017
Extract
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
  • Review
    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.
  • Review
    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.
  • Review
    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.
The Book Of Perilous Sanity
Books Magazine June 12, 2017
Review
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
  • Interview
    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.
As You Queued Up Quietly
Books Magazine June 05, 2017
Review
An anatomy of demonetisation, with little empirical data, sums up well, also directing the Centre’s eyes to issues nearer black money
One Of Terpsichore’s Own
Books Magazine May 29, 2017
Review
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.
  • Review
    Getting into Jayalalitha’s shoes, Outlook’s Tamil Nadu correspondent reviews a book that seems to be only a poor caricature of Amma.
  • Review
    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.
Thanka’s Purse Of Drachmas
Books Magazine May 22, 2017
Review
Part realistically imagined historical reverie, yet rooted in Kerala’s 20th century diversity, this novel is a skilful construction of myth and memory
Notes From A Tail Gunner’s Diary
Books Magazine July 24, 2017
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:
Did Marie Curie Love Pink?
Books Magazine July 24, 2017
Society judged women’s scientific temperament harshly. This book explains the latest science—spurious and convincing—that hovers around the old bias.
Customs Of The Country
Books Magazine July 24, 2017
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.
‘We Meet People. There Was No Cosy Talk (With Sasikala)’
Books Magazine July 24, 2017
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”.
Drinking From A False Glory
Books Magazine July 17, 2017
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.
The Heavens Poured Poison
Books Magazine July 17, 2017
Pesticides sprayed from above destroyed lives in the hills of Kasargod. This novel borrows from myth and magical realism to convey that real horror.
Thinly Spread Across Seasons
Books Magazine July 17, 2017
India is grossly under-policed and the force is badly used. Balachandran has suggestions, including that of a central police with all-India jurisdiction.
Augustus Loses To Iron Lady
Books Magazine July 10, 2017
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.
Brush Dipped In Passion
Books Magazine July 10, 2017
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.
It Rings For Shakuntala
Books Magazine July 10, 2017
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
Nothing Is In Soft Focus
Books Magazine July 03, 2017
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
This Well-Travelled Beauty
Books Magazine July 03, 2017
The great Qurratulain Hyder could be wonderfully gossipy yet notoriously tetchy. Jameel Akhtar brings out the real person, her world and her creations.
The Pilgrims’ Progress
Books Magazine July 03, 2017
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.
So Then, What’ve You Seen?
Books Magazine June 26, 2017
Nadeem Aslam’s novelistic Lahore bristles with rage, hatred and a demonic energy, taking a magnifying glass to Pakistan’s faultlines
Castel Figredi Wasn’t There
Books Magazine June 26, 2017
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.
Death Be Not Proud
Books Magazine June 26, 2017
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
Trysts Under The Deodars
Books Magazine June 19, 2017
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
On Blackened Marblestones
Books Magazine June 19, 2017
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.
Behind The Golden Boughs
Books Magazine June 19, 2017
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.
Waist-Deep Mud At The Somme
Books Magazine June 19, 2017
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.
The Book Of Perilous Sanity
Books Magazine June 12, 2017
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
Books Magazine June 12, 2017
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.
As You Queued Up Quietly
Books Magazine June 05, 2017
An anatomy of demonetisation, with little empirical data, sums up well, also directing the Centre’s eyes to issues nearer black money
Tied In Notes Of Amiri Todi
Books Magazine June 05, 2017
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’
One Of Terpsichore’s Own
Books Magazine May 29, 2017
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.
Mistress Of Ice-Cream Coldness
Books Magazine May 29, 2017
Getting into Jayalalitha’s shoes, Outlook’s Tamil Nadu correspondent reviews a book that seems to be only a poor caricature of Amma.
Grand Tale, Lame Ending
Books Magazine May 29, 2017
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.
Thanka’s Purse Of Drachmas
Books Magazine May 22, 2017
Part realistically imagined historical reverie, yet rooted in Kerala’s 20th century diversity, this novel is a skilful construction of myth and memory
Lattice Of Lyrical Majesticity
Books Magazine May 22, 2017
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
Their Book Of Revelations
Books Magazine May 22, 2017
Southal’s Punjabi widows lead lives of abject pettiness, yet explode into lurid sexual thoughts when prompted. This novel unearths their buried desires.
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