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Merve Emre – “Things should be read in as many different ways as possible”

Published on Apr 22, 2024 09:17 PM IST

At the Jaipur Literature Festival, the author of Paraliterary; The Making of Bad Readers in Postwar America spoke about the idea of the “bad reader”, the internationalism of the post-war period, fake news, and the role of the literary critic

Merve Emre during a session at JLF 2024 (Courtesy Jaipur Literature Festival)
BySimar Bhasin

Bakeries, bookstores, and beat poetry: A literary odyssey through San Francisco

A city transforms, a bookstore vanishes, but hope flourishes in hidden gems and rebellious verses.

City Lights Books, San Francisco(Author)
Published on Apr 21, 2024 12:23 AM IST

HT Picks; New Reads

On the reading list this week are stories that consider the fateful consequences that can spring from brief encounters, a volume about the twin battles that stopped the Japanese invasion of India, and a story of the joys of unexpected friendships and the beauty of nature

This week’s pick of interesting reads includes a collection of stories that consider the consequences of brief encounters, a book on the battles of Imphal and Kohima, and a gentle new tale from a favourite storyteller. (HT Team)
Published on Apr 19, 2024 09:58 PM IST
ByHT Team

Yuvan Aves, author, Intertidal – “Sometimes I write to think”

Intertidal, a diary on Chennai's coast, wetlands, and climate, evolved from personal observation to a public resource. It explores the interplay of nature, activism, and self, offering meditative reflections for all readers.

Author Yuvan Aves (Courtesy Bloomsbury)
Updated on Apr 19, 2024 09:56 PM IST

Review: In Search of Answers; A Memoir by K Saradamoni

An academic and activist associated most notably with the Indian Statistical Institute, K Saradamoni’s memoir illuminates a vanished world where tomatoes were uncommon and Americans persecuted by McCarthyism found asylum in India

K Saradamoni in front of the Planning Commission in the mid-1950s. (Courtesy Tulika Books)
Updated on Apr 20, 2024 05:30 PM IST
BySyed Saad Ahmed

Review: The Rajiv I Knew by Mani Shankar Aiyar

Mani Shankar Aiyar worked constructively with Rajiv Gandhi over a long period. Consequently, his book reveals several sides to the former prime minister

Rajiv Gandhi and Mani Shankar Aiyar in the 1980s. (Courtesy Juggernaut)
Published on Apr 19, 2024 09:53 PM IST
ByChinmaya R Gharekhan

Breaking the mould

Two recent shows brought out how a new breed of ceramic artists is infusing the medium with playfulness, social commentary, and political subtext

All that glitters: Vinod Daroz’s work. (Immersive Infitities)
Published on Apr 19, 2024 09:36 PM IST
ByShireen Quadri

An ode to the chinaberry

The flowers of this close cousin of the neem are the most fragrant harbingers of good weather in the capital and its branches are the venue for many conferences of the birds

A red-whiskered bulbul intent on eating chinaberries (Prerna Jain)
Published on Apr 19, 2024 03:39 PM IST

Review: A Way Within; Seven Years in a Himalayan Ashram by Madhu Tandan

A memoir of the seven years that the author and her husband spent at an ashram in Mirtola, Uttarakhand, looks at the relevance of the quest for a deeper, more authentic self

An ashram in the Himalayas (representative picture) (Shutterstock)
Published on Apr 18, 2024 05:06 PM IST
ByNeha Kirpal

A Dictator Calls by Ismail Kadare

The laws of tragedy bring together the author Boris Pasternak and Josef Stalin, head of the Soviet Union, in the Albanian author’s latest novel

Boris Pasternak on a Russian postage stamp from 2019. (Mirt Alexander /Shutterstock)
Updated on Apr 17, 2024 09:00 PM IST
BySharmistha Jha

Report: The Bangalore International Film Festival 2024

Remarkable films in Santhali and Boro apart from offerings from other Indian languages, a retrospective of the works of Abbas Kiarostami, and recognition for the work of stalwarts like MS Sathyu made the fifteenth edition of the BIFF stand out

Packed venues at the BIFF reaffirmed the power of cinema (Bangalore International Film Festival)
Published on Apr 16, 2024 09:18 PM IST
ByKV Vasudevan

Sidharth Jain - “Everyone in India loves storytelling”

The head of The Story Ink and House of Talkies, the production company that produced Trial by Fire for Netflix, talks about literary works as starting points for his work in video, audience tastes, and how some books are now being written like they are screenplays

Sidharth Jain, head, The Story Ink and House of Talkies (Suhit Bombaywala)
Published on Apr 15, 2024 09:03 PM IST
BySuhit Bombaywala

Book Box | Unravelling the art of translation at London’s oldest bookstore

Two hot new reads are Charles Spencer’s boarding school memoir and the confessions of a Citibank trader. Plus, translations talk at London’s oldest bookstore.

Translators Donald Rayfield, Georgia de Chamberet & Dennis Duncan ( L to R) at Hatchards Piccadilly, London(Author)
Published on Apr 13, 2024 08:03 PM IST

HT Picks; New Reads

This week’s list of interesting reads includes a Japanese novel about food and the power and delight of taboo, a Nobel Prize winner’s volume that asks if death might serve a necessary biological purpose, and a collection of essays that journeys into the world of FN Souza

On the reading list this week is a Japanese novel about the power and delight of taboo, a book that examines the ethical costs of attempting to live forever, and essays about the art and life of FN Souza (HT Team)
Updated on Apr 13, 2024 05:34 AM IST
ByHT Team

Perry Garfinkel – “India needs a moral compass like Gandhi now more than ever”

The author of Becoming Gandhi on his three-year experiment of adopting MK Gandhi’s principles of truth, non-violence, simplicity, celibacy, vegetarianism, and faith

Author Perry Garfinkel (Courtesy the publisher)
Updated on Apr 13, 2024 05:26 AM IST
BySyed Saad Ahmed

Review: Vagabond Princess by Ruby Lal

A portrait of Gulbadan Begum, author of the Humayun-nama, and the only woman historian of any medieval Islamic dynasty

Gulbadan Begum smoking a hukkah. (Wikimedia Commons)
Updated on Apr 13, 2024 05:24 AM IST
ByHuzan Tata

Review: From Phansi Yard by Sudha Bharadwaj

Through 76 sketches of inmates she met during her own imprisonment, activist Sudha Bharadwaj’s From Phansi Yard looks at the material conditions, the food, the celebrations and the humiliations of life in jail

Prison life; notes from inside (Shutterstock)
Updated on Apr 13, 2024 10:53 AM IST
ByMahmood Farooqui

A Suitable Boy turns 31

Densely populated with characters and 1,400 pages long, Vikram Seth’s novel, that famously did not win the Booker prize, has often been called the great(est) Indian novel. But is it?

Vikram Seth with Khushwant Singh in New Delhi on 27 February 1993. (Dinesh Kumar/HT Photo)
Published on Apr 12, 2024 09:26 PM IST
ByKartik Chauhan

Motorcycle diaries: On riding in the Garo Hills

The Wangala dance, incredible vernacular architecture, and an old local religion... There’s much to appreciate in this lush stretch of the eastern Himalayas

The Wangala dance at Condengre village in West Garo Hills (Royal Enfield Social Mission)
Published on Apr 11, 2024 09:26 PM IST

Report: Sacred Spirit Festival 2024

The festival, which featured some outstanding Indian and international performers, reaffirmed the idea that the sacred is not the monopoly of any one religion, ideology or tradition

The Sufi whirling dance of the Nile (Sacred Spirit Festival)
Updated on Apr 11, 2024 08:22 PM IST

Essay: On the spectacle of cancel culture

Depending on whom you ask, cancel culture is a threat to freedom of expression or mere background noise; it is changing social codes or it is changing nothing

A scene from Sick of Myself (Film still)
Published on Apr 09, 2024 08:54 PM IST

Indian sci-fi: weird and wonderful

On the Sahitya Akademi devoting a special edition of its flagship publication, Indian Literature, to Indian science fiction

Indian Science fiction: Opening doors to worlds that are both new and familiar. (Shutterstock)
Published on Apr 09, 2024 04:57 PM IST
ByUttaran Das Gupta

Katherine M Hedeen - “Raul’s poetics challenge US-centric notions of queerness”

The professor of Spanish at Kenyon College in Ohio, USA, talks about translating Almost Obscene by marginalized Colombian queer poet Raúl Gòmez Jattin

Essayist and translator of poetry, Katherine M Hedeen (Mumbai Poetry Festival 2024)
Updated on Apr 08, 2024 08:57 PM IST

Book Box | Meet Priya Narendra: The writer who loves badly behaved women

From reading stories of Noor Jehan and Elizabeth I to writing a rom com, this writer talks about her latest book on Indian women bosses

Priya Narendra(picture courtesy Priya Narendra)
Updated on Apr 06, 2024 07:58 PM IST

Report: Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival 2024

With sessions on biographies, climate fiction, feminist publishing, fantasy fiction and women’s empowerment, the festival provided much food for thought

Bestselling author Anuja Chauhan, whose latest novel The Fast and the Dead is a murder mystery set on Karwa Chauth night. (AKLF2024)
Published on Apr 05, 2024 09:26 PM IST

HT Picks; New Reads

This week’s pick of interesting reads includes a collection of essays that discuss different ways in which identities are constructed in Indian contexts, an entertaining book about a popular intoxicant, and a novel that’s a profound meditation on freedom, regret, and the mysteries of love

On the reading list this week is a book of essays on the construction of identities within Indian contexts, a book on ganja, and a posthumous novel that’s a meditation on freedom and love (HT Team)
Published on Apr 05, 2024 09:19 PM IST
ByHT Team

Shyam Selvadurai – “Writing is a strange process”

At the Jaipur Literature Festival, the Sri Lankan-Canadian novelist spoke about his latest book, Mansions of the Moon, that revolves around Yasodhara, wife of Siddhartha Gautama, the man who became the Buddha

Author Shyam Selvadurai (George Pimentel)
Published on Apr 05, 2024 09:18 PM IST

Review: City on Fire; A Boyhood in Aligarh by Zeyad Masroor Khan

Zeyad Masroor Khan’s book may be placed in the genre of liberal Muslim autobiographical non-fiction intended to alert the majority to the sense of alienation felt by the minority

Far from Upar Kot though it’s in the same city: A view of Aligarh Muslim University in Uttar Pradesh. (Universal Images Group via Getty)
Updated on Apr 05, 2024 09:18 PM IST
ByMaaz Bin Bilal

Review: The Musical Maverick; The Authorized Biography Of Shankar Mahadevan by Ashis Ghatak

On Shankar Mahadevan’s influences, his work as a playback singer and composer for Hindi cinema, his devotional music, and his role in the Grammy award winning Indo-jazz group, Shakti

Shankar Mahadevan (centre) rehearing for Symphony Orchestra of India’s Spring season 2020 with Zane Dalal, Zakir Hussain, Hariharan and Kelley O’Connor at NCPA, Nariman Point, Mumbai on February 24 2020. (Aalok Soni/HT PHOTO)
Published on Apr 05, 2024 09:17 PM IST

Review: Understanding Islam; Its Spirit and Values by Abad Ahmad

A resource for individuals of all faiths who seek a deeper understanding of Islam, this book encourages readers to engage critically with religious texts and traditions

Prayers at the Great Mosque of Mecca (Shutterstock)
Published on Apr 04, 2024 08:29 PM IST
BySaleem Rashid Shah
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