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This week’s reading list includes a book on Parsis, another on one of the most fascinating women in Indian mythology, and a murder mystery out at sea. (HT Team)

HT Picks; New Reads

By HT Team
PUBLISHED ON JUL 23, 2021 06:14 PM IST
A community that’s dwindling in numbers but not in influence, one of the fieriest women in Indian mythology, and a mystery set on a liner out at sea -- all that on this week’s list of interesting reads
Hemant Divate, co-founder Poetrywala (Courtesy Hemant Divate)
Hemant Divate, co-founder Poetrywala (Courtesy Hemant Divate)

Interview: Hemant Divate, co-founder, Poetrywala

By Suhit Kelkar
UPDATED ON JUL 23, 2021 06:14 PM IST
Through their publishing imprint Poetrywala, Hemant and Smruti Divate have brought out over 130 collections of poetry in many languages and from different countries since 2003. The Divates with other Indian writers have recently formed the Poetrywala Foundation, a public charitable trust, to enrich poetry and encourage its translation, archiving and research. Hemant Divate talks to Suhit Kelkar about the initiative.
Iconic image. A lone demonstrator blocks the path of a tank convoy along the Avenue of Eternal Peace near Tiananmen Square in June 1989. (Getty Images)
Iconic image. A lone demonstrator blocks the path of a tank convoy along the Avenue of Eternal Peace near Tiananmen Square in June 1989. (Getty Images)

Review: Tiananmen Square; The Making of a Protest by Vijay Gokhale

By Suyash Desai
PUBLISHED ON JUL 23, 2021 06:12 PM IST
By describing the political landscape leading up to the Tiananmen Square incident in 1989, Vijay Gokhale details the nuances of the decision making process of China’s party-state system
Manohar Singh in Tughlaq staged at Purana Qila, Delhi in 1972. (Courtesy HarperCollins)
Manohar Singh in Tughlaq staged at Purana Qila, Delhi in 1972. (Courtesy HarperCollins)

Review: This Life At Play; Memoirs by Girish Karnad

By Kunal Ray
UPDATED ON JUL 23, 2021 07:14 PM IST
Girish Karnad’s memoirs touch on his childhood in Sirsi, his early exposure to Yakshagana, how mathematics influenced his playwriting, and his work in film
The 2018 movie set of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. (Shutterstock)
The 2018 movie set of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. (Shutterstock)

Review: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood; A Novel by Quentin Tarantino

By Prahlad Srihari
UPDATED ON JUL 22, 2021 02:00 PM IST
The storytelling in Tarantino’s debut novel is non-linear, the writing is punchy, and it comes as no surprise that it reads like a motion picture
An Indian’s perspective of Japan, eight rules to make you happier, and a novel on the legacy of the Sri Lankan civil war -- all that on this week’s list of the most interesting reads. (HT Team)
An Indian’s perspective of Japan, eight rules to make you happier, and a novel on the legacy of the Sri Lankan civil war -- all that on this week’s list of the most interesting reads. (HT Team)

HT Picks; New Reads

By HT Team
UPDATED ON JUL 16, 2021 05:37 PM IST
This week’s reading list includes an Indian’s perspective of Japan’s culinary, sanitary and floral idiosyncrasies, a compilation of eight rules for daily life culled from Sikhism, and an unsparing account of the legacy of Sri Lanka’s thirty year civil war
Author Tahmima Anam (Abeer Y Hoque)
Author Tahmima Anam (Abeer Y Hoque)

Interview: Tahmima Anam, Author, The Startup Wife

By KX Ronnie
UPDATED ON JUL 16, 2021 05:47 PM IST
Tahmima Anam’s new novel is about Asha Ray, a brilliant coder whose platform rivals the world’s biggest social media companies. Here, the author talks about her writing, about working in technology, and about Bangladesh, her spiritual home
La Iruela Castle with olive groves in the background, Andalusia, Spain. (De Agostini via Getty Images)
La Iruela Castle with olive groves in the background, Andalusia, Spain. (De Agostini via Getty Images)

Review: The Lost Fragrance of Infinity by Moin Mir

By Rana Safvi
PUBLISHED ON JUL 16, 2021 05:33 PM IST
Using symbolism and metaphors, Moin Mir traces his protagonist’s inward journey from the destruction of his ego to self-analysis and the eventual realisation that the journey is about bettering one’s life through deeds of kindness
A sprawling bungalow in Delhi. (M Zhazo/HT Photo)
A sprawling bungalow in Delhi. (M Zhazo/HT Photo)

Review: Equations by Shivani Sibal

By Ashwin Sanghi
PUBLISHED ON JUL 16, 2021 05:30 PM IST
A memorable portrayal of social dynamics, Shivani Sibal’s novel is unsentimental, thoughtful and compassionate
Friendships: The bonhomie and laughter might disguise rivalries and emotional abuse. (Shutterstock)
Friendships: The bonhomie and laughter might disguise rivalries and emotional abuse. (Shutterstock)

Review: The Whispers by Heidi Perks

By Ananya Borogohain
UPDATED ON JUL 15, 2021 05:01 PM IST
The best selling author exploits the complex dichotomy in female kinship in her latest psychological thriller. The Whispers is a warped tale revolving around the toxic dynamics shared by five women
Mannu Bhandari’s short stories, Eric Hobsbawm on nationalism, and the 100 objects that represent the multiculturalism of modern India -- all that on this week’s list of interesting reads. (HT Team)
Mannu Bhandari’s short stories, Eric Hobsbawm on nationalism, and the 100 objects that represent the multiculturalism of modern India -- all that on this week’s list of interesting reads. (HT Team)

HT Picks; New Reads

By HT Team
PUBLISHED ON JUL 09, 2021 05:58 PM IST
This week’s reading list includes a translation of Mannu Bhandari’s stories that turn an unflinching gaze at the hypocrisy of a society that balks at giving women the keys to their shackles, a collection of historian Eric Hobsbawm’s writing on nationalism, and a spectacular volume on the 100 objects that are representative of the multicultural medley that is contemporary India
Author Anjali Joseph (CJ Humphries)
Author Anjali Joseph (CJ Humphries)

Interview: Anjali Joseph, Author, Keeping in Touch

By Saaz Aggarwal
UPDATED ON JUL 09, 2021 05:57 PM IST
A spectacular panel found at Phanigiri. (Wikimedia Commons)
A spectacular panel found at Phanigiri. (Wikimedia Commons)

Review: Phanigiri - Interpreting an Ancient Buddhist Site in Telangana

By Sunita Dwivedi
UPDATED ON JUL 09, 2021 05:55 PM IST
A new book of scholarly essays brings to the fore the artistic and commercial dialogue between the Krishna and the Kabul valleys
Sleeping Buddha statue, Ajanta caves. (Shutterstock)
Sleeping Buddha statue, Ajanta caves. (Shutterstock)

Review: The Light of Asia; The Poem That Defined Buddha

By Ashutosh Bhardwaj
UPDATED ON JUL 09, 2021 05:52 PM IST
Jairam Ramesh’s new book, which charts the journey of Edwin Arnold’s poem, is a significant addition to the study of the revival of Buddhism in the twentieth century
Dalit author from Maharashtra, Uttam Bandu Tupe. (Mohit Suneja)
Dalit author from Maharashtra, Uttam Bandu Tupe. (Mohit Suneja)

Essay: Uttam Bandu Tupe - Writing the Dalit oppression

By Farzana Versey
UPDATED ON JUL 08, 2021 04:58 PM IST
Uttam Bandu Tupe died last year; it was an unsung death. When his play Zulwa was staged by Marathi stalwart Chetan Datar in the early 1990s, the audience lauded the experimental work for breaking new ground. But few were even aware of where the writer of the play lived or what he did to put food on the table
Saira Banu and Dilip Kumar were married for 54 years.
Saira Banu and Dilip Kumar were married for 54 years.

Dilip Kumar and Saira Banu: A match made in heaven

By Trinetra Bajpai and Anshula Bajpai, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUL 07, 2021 06:36 PM IST
An excerpt from the book, Dilip Kumar: Peerless Icon Inspiring Generations, which talks about the late actor’s early years and family, his evolution as an artist, his relationship with contemporaries, his romances, and his eventual marriage to Saira Banu that stood the test of time.
The magnificent Lal Qila in Delhi. (Amal KS/HT PHOTO)
The magnificent Lal Qila in Delhi. (Amal KS/HT PHOTO)

Review: The Last Gathering by Munshi Faizuddin, translated by Ather Farouqui

By Mahmood Farooqui
PUBLISHED ON JUL 02, 2021 07:37 PM IST
Within a few decades of Bahadur Shah Zafar’s death a virtual industry began to take shape. Paintings, books, albums, souvenirs of his times made their way to the Indian and the British market. After Delhi was restored as the Imperial Capital in 1911, there was a veritable horde of publications celebrating his persona, his court and the Lal Qila of his times. Rashid ul Khairi, Nasir Nazeer Firaq, Hasan Nizami, Arsh Taimuri, Farhatullah Beig and several others followed with bestselling memoirs and chronicles. But Munshi Faizuddin’s Bazm-i Aakhir, published within two decades of Bahadur Shah’s death, wonderfully translated here as The Last Gathering was the one which set the trend
On this week’s reading list -- essays on the rise of Indian Americans, a book on Mughal India, and another on women screenwriters in Bollywood. (HT Team)
On this week’s reading list -- essays on the rise of Indian Americans, a book on Mughal India, and another on women screenwriters in Bollywood. (HT Team)

HT Picks; New Reads

By HT Team
PUBLISHED ON JUL 02, 2021 07:16 PM IST
A collection of essays on the rise of Indian Americans, a book on the rich aesthetic and cultural legacy of Mughal India, and a first-of-its-kind volume that focusses on the lives and writing practices of women screenwriters in Bollywood - all that on this week’s list of interesting reads
Author Mira Sethi. (Courtesy the publisher)
Author Mira Sethi. (Courtesy the publisher)

Interview: Mira Sethi, author of Are You Enjoying?

By Nawaid Anjum
PUBLISHED ON JUL 02, 2021 07:15 PM IST
Sethi’s characters struggle to navigate the challenges of a conservative society, sometimes at great personal cost. Here, the Pakistani author talks about her roles as journalist, writer, and actor
A street in Colaba, Mumbai. (Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)
A street in Colaba, Mumbai. (Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

Review: Colaba; The Diamond at the Tip of Mumbai by Shabnam Minwalla

By Saaz Aggarwal
PUBLISHED ON JUL 02, 2021 07:14 PM IST
Documenting the nooks, structures, and energy of the streets of Mumbai’s southernmost tip through interviews, facts and administrative data from gazetteers, iffy maps and exaggerations from travellers’ accounts, colourful descriptions from novels and even gravestone epitaphs
Putting pen to paper. (Shutterstock)
Putting pen to paper. (Shutterstock)

Essay: On having a passion for fountain pens

By Suhit Kelkar
PUBLISHED ON JUN 30, 2021 06:31 PM IST
With a fountain pen gliding on paper made for fountain pens, writing is even more pleasurable. It’s a sensuous experience in which the colour of the ink, the tactile sensations of the grip of the pen, the feedback of the nib, and the contents of your mind all work in concert on the amphitheatre of the page.
This week’s reading list includes a book on original research by India’s scientists, another on how Everest was found, and a third on Calcutta’s food and culture. (HT Team)
This week’s reading list includes a book on original research by India’s scientists, another on how Everest was found, and a third on Calcutta’s food and culture. (HT Team)

HT Picks; New Reads

By HT Team
PUBLISHED ON JUN 25, 2021 09:54 PM IST
The path-breaking advances made by India’s scientists in original research and what they mean to the nation’s progress, the breathtaking story of how Everest was found, and an insightful journey through the ever-changing landscape of Calcutta’s food and cultural milieu -- all that on this week’s list of great reads
Author Raven Leilani (Nina Subin)
Author Raven Leilani (Nina Subin)

Interview: Raven Leilani, author, Luster

By Arunima Mazumdar
UPDATED ON JUN 25, 2021 09:48 PM IST
American author Raven Leilani’s award-winning debut novel is a bold dive into the politics of sex and race, surrounded by unpredictable human behaviours
In black and white. (Shutterstock)
In black and white. (Shutterstock)

Review: Luster by Raven Leilani

By Arunima Mazumdar
UPDATED ON JUN 25, 2021 09:50 PM IST
The American author’s award-winning debut novel dives into the politics of sex and race surrounded by unpredictable human behaviours
A monk cycling in the Kham region of Western Sichuan in Tibet. (De Agostini via Getty Images)
A monk cycling in the Kham region of Western Sichuan in Tibet. (De Agostini via Getty Images)

Review: The ‘Other’ Shangri-La by Shivaji Das

By Sonali Mujumdar
PUBLISHED ON JUN 25, 2021 07:06 PM IST
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A flâneuse navigating the cityscape. (Shutterstock)
A flâneuse navigating the cityscape. (Shutterstock)

Review: Whereabouts: A Novel by Jhumpa Lahiri

By Nawaid Anjum
PUBLISHED ON JUN 25, 2021 07:01 PM IST
Told in pared-down prose, Jhumpa Lahiri’s new novel is a portrait of the modern epidemic of urban loneliness
The Queer Pride Parade in New Delhi on November 27, 2016. “Hijras do drag labour for queer India, dancing publicly at marches and performing item numbers at melas and pageants during pride month, reinterpreting film songs for our entertainment and nostalgia, but never at the club,” writes Kareem Khubchandani. (Virendra Singh Gosain/HT Archive)
The Queer Pride Parade in New Delhi on November 27, 2016. “Hijras do drag labour for queer India, dancing publicly at marches and performing item numbers at melas and pageants during pride month, reinterpreting film songs for our entertainment and nostalgia, but never at the club,” writes Kareem Khubchandani. (Virendra Singh Gosain/HT Archive)

Review: Ishtyle: Accenting Gay Indian Nightlife by Kareem Khubchandani

By Chintan Girish Modi
UPDATED ON JUN 24, 2021 06:16 PM IST
The author, a performance studies scholar, a drag queen, and a transnational desi, documents the pleasures and perils of being ‘out’ at night in Bangalore and Chicago
Zeenat Aman in the Hindi film, Qurbani (1980). In this scene, she’s singing Aap Jaisa Koi by Nazia Hasan, one of the songs on the Ishtyle playlist. (Qurbani film still)
Zeenat Aman in the Hindi film, Qurbani (1980). In this scene, she’s singing Aap Jaisa Koi by Nazia Hasan, one of the songs on the Ishtyle playlist. (Qurbani film still)

The Ishtyle playlist

By Kareem Khubchandani
UPDATED ON JUN 24, 2021 06:11 PM IST
Sing along and dance away your heartache to the playlist to Ishtyle: Accenting Gay Indian Nightlife by Kareem Khubchandani
The book unlocks the secret to live a long, meaningful, and happy life.
The book unlocks the secret to live a long, meaningful, and happy life.

Ikigai revisited in the Covid era, through a teenager’s eyes

By Tara Bhattacharya, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JUN 20, 2021 05:44 PM IST
The Japanese concept of Ikigai teaches one to cherish each fleeting moment, reminding us that it’s futile to waste our precious time worrying about what has passed and what is to come.
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