April 03, 2020
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Narendra Modi's poetry, Pen­guin HQ shifts to Haryana, and Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Lowlands, shortlis­ted for the Orange Prize


Journey To Eternity

If you thought only rivals had poet-politicians among its fold, like the redou­bt­able Kapil Sibal (of My World Within fame) of the Congress or AAP’s motormouth bard Kumar Vishwas, it’s ‘time to change’ your thou­ghts. The secret is out—none other than Narendra Modi is a hidden poet. Rupa will bring out A Jour­ney: Poems by Modi—first Eng­lish translation of his poems in Guja­rati. And all those who tho­ught he was arrogant, hear this. “I don’t consider my poetry to be an extraordinary literary creation. These are streams of thought, like a spring of fresh water....” he writes in the foreword. So all you Modibhakts, go grab your copy soon.

Chrome Swells

The first tangible shake-up of the mer­ger of Penguin India and Random House is the shifting of the Pen­guin HQ from a south Delhi shopping complex in Panch­sheel Park to the busi­ness-like Infinity Towers in Gur­gaon. Though it is bigger, swankier and very chrome-and-glass, old-timers miss the charm of ambling to Hauz Khas Village or Shahpur Jat, Delhi’s chic hang-outs, for a long lunch with an author to discuss if the twist in cha­pter six works or not.

In Like Flynn

Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Lowlands, which missed out on the Booker, is shortlis­ted for the Orange Prize (now called the Bailey’s Prize). But competition is tough—Burial Rites by Hannah Kent, The Undertaking by Audrey Magee, Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, A Girl is A Half-Formed Thing by Eimear McBride, and, of course, the mammoth The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt—which is a fixture in top-ten lists. Good luck, Jhumpa.

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