Udayan Mukherjee's Essential Items captures glimpses from the pandemic, unsettlingly blurring fact-fiction divide
The stories in Udayan Mukherjee's new book poignantly reflect and honour the prevailing precariousness of our lives, as they continue to unfold while we vie to reach the finishing line, much like his characters.
Pankaj Sekhsaria’s Nanoscale shines a light on how society influences research at India’s premier science institutes
Pankaj Sekhsaria takes us inside laboratories in India to show how the research inside these labs can’t be disconnected from the societal realities India lives with
A Song of Wraiths and Ruin book review: Roseanne A Brown deftly weaves African mythology into classic YA Fantasy elements
A Song of Wraiths and Ruin retains the traditional elements that make YA Fantasy captivating, such as strong female characters, a sense of otherworldliness, and intrigue, while also stepping out of the norm by weaving in West African culture, to create an intricate background to this exquisite tapestry
In Boys from Good Families, writer Usha KR's obsessive eye for detail undermines larger social themes
In Boys from Good Families, Usha KR’s verbosity wrestles uncomfortably with her social and moral messaging, proving to be counterproductive in establishing the larger picture that often goes amiss.
In translating Chandrasekhara Kambar's Two Plays, Krishna Manavalli performs commendable service to Kannada writing
In her recent translation of Chandrasekhara Kambar’s Two Plays, Krishna Manavalli has carefully selected two representative works: Rishyshringa and Mahmoud Gawan.
To read Robert MacFarlane’s Underland is to reimagine what we might learn from the pursuit of the subterranean
In Robert MacFarlane’s Underland, he travels across the UK, Western Europe and Finland to enter and explore a multitude of landscapes beneath the surface — both geological and manmade
Hope Jahren’s The Story of More marries personal reflection with science to trace the narrative of climate change
In an informative new book, Hope Jahren demystifies the combination of sometimes accidental, sometimes deliberate events, choices and passing of the reins of power in the last 50 years or so that have over-taxed the planet while still leaving more than 800 million people starving.
In The Machine is Learning, Tanuj Solanki navigates corporate India and the ripple effects of techno-capitalist advancements
Tanuj Solanki, with his third book The Machine is Learning, and after having won the Sahitya Akademi Yuva Puraskar, presents a rare macro picture of what advancement shifts or scrapes on the sides when it takes a step forward.
In Bishwanath Ghosh's Aimless in Banaras: Wanderings in India's Holiest City, the lesser-talked about darker aspects of the town comes to the fore, albeit at the cost of poorly-researched, error-ridden stories, and tired old clichés.
Mind Master review: Viswanathan Anand's autobiography is an unflinching look at the career of India's greatest chess superstar
Having been a poster boy for India at chess, Viswanathan Anand still remains somewhat of an enigma for many Indians who cannot grasp the complexities of the sport he played. With Mind Master, the 50-year-old takes you behind the scenes into the sport and his life.
In Flowers on the Grave of Caste, author Yogesh Maitreya's characters are subjected to a constant threats in a Brahminical environment. But these characters' main trait is self-respect which permeates their very being, thus making it not a collective claim but an individual one — a notion Dr Ambedkar eloquently put forth in the Constituent Assembly debates
A Death in the Himalayas review: Udayan Mukherjee ably juggles local and racial politics in sophomore novel
Former journalist and television anchor Udayan Mukherjee’s second novel, A Death in the Himalayas, ably flexes its farms by juggling native and racial politics in the fictional hill village of Birtola.
Reading Fikr Taunsvi's The Sixth River in 2019: Searing account of horrors of Partition resonates even today
The first-person account of the Partition by Fikr Taunsvi, titled The Sixth River: A Journal from the Partition of India, refers to the five rivers of Punjab, to which a sixth river, that of ‘fire and blood’, was added during that bloody period. Maaz Bin Bilal’s translation brings this stunning account to readers in English, and does so at a time when those histories are repeating themselves.
The Making of Star India: Vanita Kohli-Khandekar's book on Rupert Murdoch’s Indian TV foray is a must-read
Vanita Kohli-Khandekar’s The Making of Star India is a detailed treatise of the news baron Rupert Murdoch’s greatest adventure as well as the tale of India’s tryst with television
An Orchestra of Minorities review: Chigozie Obioma delivers a contemporary Nigerian tragedy through Igbo cosmology
Chigozie Obioma, whose first novel, The Fishermen, was selected as a finalist for the Man Booker Prize in 2015, has made it back to the 2019 shortlist with his latest effort, An Orchestra of Minorities.
How Babu Bangladesh! combines unfiltered history with imagination, style to create compelling literature
Numair Atif Choudhury’s novel, Babu Bangladesh!, which has been shortlisted for the Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize 2019, pretends to be a biography of a Bangladeshi politician. Choudhury conjures nostalgia — evocative of youth and deep love of one’s homeland — and places it amid the squalid and terrible politics, the massacres and the disappearances.
Voice of a Sentient Highland book review: Godwin Vasanth Bosco provides a much-needed voice for the Nilgiris
Book review: Voice of a Sentient Highland by Godwin Vasanth Bosco is a comprehensive treatise on the plant ecology of the Nilgiris that also delineates the myriad ecological issues in the Nilgiris and highlights the resilience the ecosystem shows.
Krupa Ge’s book contributes to the cultural memory of the disastrous Chennai floods of December 2015 — a job it does with deceptive simplicity and barely suppressed rage
Tayari Jones' An American Marriage is a swift-paced, nuanced story of a falsely incarcerated black man
Tayari Jones' prose in An American Marriage has a fable-like quality, and knowing how much research she did makes you appreciate the writing even more, because none of it shows. It would have been easy for a less skilled and stylish writer to drown in the details and statistics. Instead this is a novel like a jewel, gleaming, rich and impressive.
No Laughing Matter is a study of BR Ambedkar in retrospect, in which the protagonist appears more tangible to us, with readers being allowed to ‘see’ and understand him through a documented history of illustrations.