beyond artís formal graces
by John Berger edited by Geoff Dyer. Pantheon Books, New York
Pages xiii+ 589. $ 35
my undergraduate days in the 1950s, I used to avidly read John
Berger and V.S.Pritchet in the columns of New Statesman.
Berger looked at paintings with a wide-ranging social
conscience informed by Marxism. Pritchet revelled in the
formal qualities of novels and other literary genres.
genesis of a genius
The Last Samurai
by Helen DeWitt. Vintage. Pages 482. Singapore $20.
like me, you are the kind of person who does most of her
reading on a bus or train, Iíd suggest donít pick this one
up. I committed the mortal sin of doing just that, ended up
missing not only my bus stop but also landed on a one-way
street and finished the first chapter only to find myself
battling the sweltering Singapore sun to head back on track.
Busybee, The Best of Thirty-Six Years.
Penguin. Pages V+234. Rs 250.
is very difficult to come to terms with a life with an
eloquent void created by the sudden removal of a person who
once had an unassuming, non-interfering but habitual presence
in our lives. Such a blow struck the readers of Busybee when
instead of their favorite column "Round and About"
they read, "Busybee will not hum anymore" and
"The Buzz stops" in newspapers following the 9th day
of April 2001.
the course of the caste system
Beyond The Four Varanas: The Untouchables in India
by Prabhati Mukherjee, I.I.A.S. Shimla, Pages 116, Price Rs
may be your interest to be our masters, but how can it be ours
to be your slavesí ó Thucydides It
is a self-evident fact that untouchability has dehumanised a
sizeable section of humanity in India. The victims suffered a
lot due to this stigma and had to face oppressive servitude,
acute illiteracy, grinding poverty, degraded status and
assortment of stories
by Manoj Das. Penguin India. Pages 349. Rs 250.
Das is an accomplished writer whose love for details is
unmistakable. He has won several awards, including the Sahitya
Akademi Award, Padma Shri and the country's most coveted one
for creative writing, the Saraswati Samman.Besides these, his
stories have featured in a large number of international
publications and journals.
halo of the Anthill Man
by Kailash Ahluwalia (Poems) Writersí Workshop, Kolkata.
Pages 92. Rs 100
the last two decades an important shift has taken place as far
as Indian poetry in English is concerned. Its readership is no
longer confined to the metros and is now spread almost all
over the country.
A Sunday by the
IT was for the
weekend that I waited most expectantly. That is when Bhaji would
invariably take me out somewhere. Either we would go
sightseeing, visit new places or friends and relatives. One
Sunday, it happened to be quite warm and bright. Even though it
was June, the sunshine was as warm as if it were March.
A treat for both
the connoisseur and the uninformed
The Art of
Roli Books, New
Delhi. Price not mentioned
writers, are a societyís conscience keepers. They reflect what
they experience in a manner that leaves a lasting impact. It is
a privileged nation that facilitates the well-being of its