February 22, 2020
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Odysseus At Work

If you thought David Davidar has been lying low, waiting for the sexual harassment saga to be forgotten, think again. Instead, he’s put the experience to good use by churning out a novel about a subject he knows well: the international world of publishing. A Canadian publisher, McClelland and Stewart, has acquired the rights for Davidar’s Ithaca, hailing it as “his most ambitious novel to date”. This is one novel Penguin India will probably have to skip bidding for, given how they had sacked him. To find out if it has anything about “a vision in pink sipping a champagne cocktail”, you’ll have to wait till autumn next year.

Bite Marks

Another author profiting from her experiences, however scandalous, is Om Puri’s wife and biographer, Nandita. Her novel in progress, Breaking News, is a thinly veiled account of what happens after she writes a tell-all biography of her husband, a Bollywood veteran. The latter denounces the book as “cheap gossip”. Instead of stopping publication, Nandita’s fictionalised alter ego goes ahead, thereby exposing “Mumbai’s sleazy film industry and its equally incestuous film journos”. Or that’s what her literary agency, Siyahi, promises she will do.

Pages Of The Realm

If UK’s premier litfest authority, the Hay-on-Wye, is keen to bring its expertise to India, Indians aren’t lagging behind. The dsc Literary Initiatives, which sponsors the Jaipur litfest and one of the biggest literary prizes of $50,000, is launching a  South Asian Literature Festival across Britain from October 16-31. Exactly who is taking coal to Newcastle we’ll discover soon.

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