Fighting a Frown
If you find any top publisher wandering around in the country this week, well, he or she will most likely duck in a nearby bush. All of them have finished their visa interview at the German embassy or consulate and are either on their way or have already landed up in Frankfurt for the world's biggest book fair. And controversy has already arrived at its doorstep. Iran has said it will pull out of the fair if Salman Rushdie delivers the keynote address on October 13. Its minister of culture feels it will “cross a political red line" in the backdrop of the fatwa against the author issued by Ayatollah Khomeini in 1989. Iran is an important country at Frankfurt as it had 300 publishers participating last year. The organisers are trying ways to get out of the jam.
The newest publishing firm on the block, Juggernaut, quite unlike its sledgehammer-sounding name, has the most charming office, just across Delhi's tony Khan Market abutting a plant nursery. It's an old-world building with madhumalti creepers at its doorframe and water gushing out of a bamboo stick in the wash basin tap. But it may be too small once the agency grows and starts business earnestly, when more people join in. Plans are already afoot to look for more vacant space in the vicinity.
Take This Advice
Here is a tip from the legendary French poet and novelist, Anatole France: "Never lend books, for no one ever returns them: the only books I have in my library are books that other folk have lent me."