July 09, 2020
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Indian writing isn't short of glamour, Siddhartha Mukherjee's next is ready for release and some 350 public libraries in Britain are facing closure

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Lotus Positions

The buzz may be about Padma Lakshmi’s memoirs, Love, Loss, and What We Ate, where she chews and spits out ex-husband Salman Rushdie. But Indian writing isn't short of glamour either. Bollywood starlet Sunny Leone is coming out with a collection of short stories, simply called Sweet Dreams. Publishers Juggernaut promise these are stories of “power and play which treat women as sexual equals to men and explore girls who do the seduction”. Then at the Peng­­uin Spring Fever, there was the svelte Shilpa Shetty talking about her book, The Great Indian Diet, which busts some myths about celebrated western diets.

Long Lines

Siddhartha Mukherjee’s book The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer showed how a medical book can become high literature. Philosophical, clinical and reading like a thriller, it went on to win the Pulitzer. Now, his next, Gene: An Intimate History is ready for release. An editor associated with it says it is more magnificent and ambitious in scope as it deals with a more fundamental part of human evolution. Mukherjee combines the per­sonal, a long line of mental illness in his family, with the general breakthrough scientists have achieved in genetics. Most importantly, it gives insights into where our race is headed.

Crashed Reads

Some 350 public libraries are facing closure in Britain and around 8,000 librarians may lose their jobs. But they aren't taking it lying down. They are protesting on the streets of London, saying reading is a fundamental right in the British constitution. Way to go, but does this point to a danger of people moving away from reading physical books?

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