Woman In Red
From someone who has embraced the inner bitch for over ten years, I can say this with some authority: what a nice line in bitchiness Aatish Taseer has! The poster-boy memoirist/novelist has recently put up a “self-interview” on the net, giving him an excuse to talk of his favourite things: his books, his father and authors he loathes. The third is obviously what has his readers hooked, especially when he unsheaths his claws about “a certain writer-cum-activist on the Left”: “That woman” with her “prurient fascination with the enemies of India”, who writes “bogus cant” which is “perfectly banal”.
Taseer’s other target is even easier to identify: “I saw him at one of his book launches, a grotesque figure, a man become obese on the affections of Indians! He lay on a stage, dressed in a mirror-work kaftan, his dirty feet hanging off. And all about him, like little pixies, Baul singers skittered around...(with) an audience of embassy trash...it is India who makes giants of these mediocrities.... In China today...he would not have been able to position himself as a gatekeeper of intellectual life. But in India...we love a man like that!” Someone’s not going to be invited to the Jaipur litfest!
Westland clearly knows how to make its bestselling authors happy. Having lured weight loss queen Rujuta Diwekar away from Random House, Westland has just signed her on for her third book. If you’re wondering if there was anything left to say on the subject, the answer is yes, a whole book on exercise!