Vappala Balachandran speaks to The Wire about his book ‘A Life in Shadow: The Secret Story of ACN Nambiar’.
Scientific crime scene analysis is more popular in India’s pulp fiction than in real life investigations.
The Tamil writer will be remembered for his views on communalism, the battle of the sexes and the Emergency, but also his silence on caste.
The Marathi classic novel, available in English for the first time, delves into the futility of literary idealism and the failure of counterculture.
In The Poison of Love, K.R. Meera seems to symmetrise political, religious and domestic violence as equally inscriptive on the body of the woman.
In ‘Commonwealth’, Ann Patchett writes a painful story in a manner full of wit and empathy.
In tyrannical times, poetry needs to speak less, tell more.
Teresa Rehman’s book documents 12 narratives of Manipuri women activists who so radically sited their bodies for struggle and pushed the envelope to give a whole new meaning to the word “mother” in patriarchal structures.
“The most severe kind of colonisation is the substitution of forest-time by this imported industrial idea of time.”
An extract from ‘Demonetisation Decoded’ by Jayati Ghosh, C.P. Chandrasekhar and Prabhat Patnaik, talking about what explains the government’s decision and popular support for it.
Extracts from C. Rammanohar Reddy’s Demonetisation and Black Money that explore whether the note ban had any impact on the rich, how Digital India entered the narrative and the impact of the move on the poor.
In addition to being under-researched, Selina Sen’s Zoon plays into the stereotypical portrayal of Kashmir where Kashmiris are never the key players.
‘Navigating the Labyrinth: Perspectives on India’s Higher Education’ sheds light on the complex issues surrounding higher education in India and suggests possible solutions to some of them.
Extracts from Ayesha Siddiqa’s Military Inc.: Inside Pakistan’s Military Economy.
Deepak Unnikrishnan’s Temporary People reveals the psychic landscapes of people who have spent decades building the physical landscape of the Gulf.
‘Mohanaswamy’ is not only among the best example of gay and regional literature but also one of the best meditations on the pleasures of inhabiting the new Indian century.
If the sadness of Ali Cobby Eckermann’s prose grabs you by the throat and chokes you and leaves you gasping for air, it is her poetry that tells you to remember to breathe.
In ‘Aurangzeb: The Man and the Myth’, Audrey Truschke sifts popular imagination on the ruler’s personal and political life from historical realities.
In Attendant Lords, T.C.A. Raghavan chronicles the life of Abdur Rahim and Bairam Khan – two noblemen during a turbulent period in the Mughal history.
In ‘Mission Overseas’, Sushant Singh provides a rare window into the organisational challenges of mid-sized military operations, and reveals the tortuous political and diplomatic constraints of UN missions.
In ‘The Golden Legend’, Nadeem Aslam establishes a pattern of chaos followed by stillness, tragedy that leaves an exquisite sorrow and kindness in its wake.
Witness/Kashmir 1986-2016, which features nine Kashmiri photographers from different eras, is about the personal as well as the collective memory of a people and their relation to their homeland.
Pankaj Mishra’s Age of Anger adds to the wealth of knowledge on the troubled history of the Western liberal order, but does not offer anything new on how to counter it.
Water sharing between India and Pakistan was less about economics or ecology but far more about politics, argues the author of ‘Indus Divided: India, Pakistan and the River Basin Dispute’.
In Courting the People: Public Interest Litigation in Post-Emergency India, Anuj Bhuwania examines how the higher judiciary, using PIL as its principal weapon, micro-manages almost every aspect of governance.
Ajay Verghese’s The Colonial Origins of Ethnic Violence looks at the colonial past to understand why some parts of India suffer from communal conflict while others suffer from caste conflict.
Here at last is an Indian historical novel that resists the temptation to be intimate with the monumental, using instead the lives of obscure (and imaginary) characters to tell the story of Tipu Sultan’s Mysore.
In Hindutva or Hind Swaraj, U.R. Ananthamurthy sets out to prove that V.D. Savarkar’s idea of Hindutva is dangerous to the idea of India but ends up situating him as an important and respectable thinker alongside Gandhi.
Are the hauntings at Mussoorie and Landour just practical fictions amidst the solitude of the hills?
‘Witness/Kashmir 1986-2016’ features nine Kashmiri photographers from different eras, who have put together their version of the Kashmir they grew up.
Sidin Vadukut’s new book, based on a real case, fails to build a convincing world around its characters, leaving the reader discontented.
Like Weber before him, Shadi Hamid attributes more importance to religious denomination than material conditions as a factor for liberalism and democracy in ‘Islamic Exceptionalism’.
Paul Lemos Horta’s Marvellous Thieves: Secret Authors of the Arabian Nights tells us of the many ways stories from the Arabian Nights have been appropriated, told and retold, over the centuries.
Krishnan Srinivasan’s Ambassador Marco returns in another thrilling novel, Ambassador Marco’s Indian Instincts which successfully combines an espionage plot with elements of crime fiction.
India has, over time, cultivated a culture of exerting no effort towards justice for the survivors of communal violence, finds Warisha Farasat and Prita Jha’s book.
At the root of India’s problems, the authors of ‘Dragon on Our Doorstep’ write, is the erroneous belief that a large and well equipped military alone can win wars.
Through ‘The Queue’, a dystopian novel, Basma Abdel Aziz provides an incisive look into the functioning of dictatorships.
In ‘Do We Care: India’s Health System’, K. Sujatha Rao tells us an insider’s tale of the languishing Indian Public Health System and how it could be rebuilt.
In his book, Bashir Abu-Manneh sets out to examine how the Palestinian novel has been in conversation with the Palestinian political struggle since 1948.
Both the India Art Fair and the Jaipur Literary Festival have expanded and developed at a time when there is a increasing appetite in India for what they offer, as well as growing international interest in India’s modern culture.