Manula Narayan is National Books Editor at Hindustan Times. She writes on literature and popular culture.
Articles by Manjula Narayan
From Bade Ghazi Khan Manganiyar to Vikku Vinayakram, Suonna d’Ajere and Smita Bellur; great music and interesting conversations with performers made this year’s JodhpurRIFF a superb experience
The first edition of SALF focussed on a range of subjects including climate change, wildlife conservation and biodiversity, crime fiction and mental health
Beautifully produced and encyclopaedic, 20th Century Indian Art by Partha Mitter, Parul Dave Mukherji and Rakhee Balaram gives you an idea of the many artistic impulses that have coursed through the subcontinent from the beginning of the last century to the contemporary period
Martyn Rix’s work of great erudition that is also a visual treat takes you into the world of East India Company surgeons, who were enthusiastic botanists, and the Indian artists who painted the plants they collected
Over an exclusive meal prepared by the economist, Manjula Narayan discusses his new cookbook, as well as the Gita, poverty, the roles of food, and his unusually precise systems of measurement.
As India enters its 75th year of Independence, Manjula Narayan puts together a list of works to read for insight and perspective on the making of a nation.
From Hans Christian Andersen and Shakespeare to hijras and Hitchens, from Amrita Sher-Gill, Osama Bin Laden, Heraclitus and Pythagoras to political courage, Carrie Fisher and Covid, the author’s new collection of essays shows off the variety of his interests and his formidable intellect
Thoughtful, brave, full of insights about life, occasionally naïve, and utterly honest, Kabir Bedi’s memoir is unlike anything you would expect from a Bollywood personality. But then Bedi, who has worked in Hollywood and continues to be wildly famous in Italy, has always been different from the other stars of his generation
In Midnight’s Children, Salman Rushdie’s Sinai used language in wonderful and, to the Indian, in familiar ways. At last, the wretched alien language we had struggled with in deference to old Macaulay was finally our own
Electricity, transport, food, buildings and manufacturing are the biggest areas of CO2 emissions. All of them will have to be tackled to combat climate change. In a video interview, Bill Gates spoke about the need for innovation, to shift to new ways of doing things, and about his new book that provides a plan to bring emissions down to zero by the year 2050
“When most people think about climate, they think about making electricity and about passenger cars mostly. They aren’t aware that there are many other sources of CO2 emissions. Electricity, transport, food, buildings and manufacturing are the biggest areas of emissions,” Gates said.
An examination of why the hit show has not acknowledged its source material
The 29 authors, who contributed to Lockdown Diaries, brought fresh perspectives to a shared experience
In an email interview, Soha Ali Khan talks about her new weekly podcast, India’s first celebrity audio book show for kids, which features her reading stories for children by Indian authors
Grief, guilt, Mumbai, and Donald Trump loom over Jeet Thayil’s new novel
The IME Nepal Literature Festival, which hosted the $25,000 DSC Prize for South Asian Literature this year, featured interesting sessions that were well attended
Fatima Bhutto’s new book looks at the global appeal of eastern pop culture. In an email interview she talks about why everyone, from the Germans to the Peruvians, is enamoured by Bollywood, K-pop and Turkish Dizi
Magic in the mountains: A look back at the stimulating sessions of the Mountain Echoes Festival 2019
Stimulating sessions and interesting conversations were part of the 10th edition of the Mountain Echoes festival in Thimphu, Bhutan.
Berjis Desai’s book that lists the A to Z of the Parsi way of life shows you why the community makes other Indians both glad and mad.
The Garden Art Journal, which features wonderfully minimalist images that incorporate petals, seeds and leaves, intends to spur creativity in those who maintain journals. Here, Chandramani, @neelavanam on Twitter and Instagram, talks about the journal, about her form of Garden Art, and her own creative process
Shubha Mudgal’s short fiction teems with authentic characters and situations peculiar to the world of the Hindustani classical performer
Poomani’s Vekkai is one of the great Tamil novels of the 20th century. Heat, the English translation of this extraordinary work has just been released. In a telephonic conversation facilitated by translator N Kalyan Raman, the author spoke about the book and its protagonist, the 15-year-old Chidambaram who murders a landlord to avenge the death of his elder brother
A book that combines history, photography, culture and travel writing, reportage, and political analysis to present a picture of China and the challenges to its rise
Rich in data backed by lucid explanatory text, The Verdict by Prannoy Roy and Dorab R Sopariwala decodes India’s elections and provides some pointers on who could win the Lok Sabha polls in 2019
As always, this year’s Jaipur Literature Festival was where Established India came to rub shoulders with Nobel laureates, Pulitzer prize winners and an adoring reading public
An excellent book that treats the Hindi film song with the seriousness and respect it deserves
A short story collection that contemplates the inevitable with an unwavering gaze
Though Aatish Taseer’s book appears to be about the Brahmins of Benaras, it is actually a look at the continuing aftershocks of colonialism, about India and Bharat, and about the persistence of caste
A story that examines the nature of love, life, friendship and the quest for happiness in a difficult world
Erudite and thought-provoking, Chinmay Tumbe’s India Moving shows that the ongoing Great Indian Migration Wave is the world’s largest and longest voluntary migration episode in migration history