November 17, 2002
crazy quilt of a book about exile
M. L. Raina
The Last Song of Manuel Sendero
by Ariel Dorfman. Translated from Spanish by George R Shivers
Penguin Books, New York. Pages 453. $10.95
Dorfman is not your wacky new- wave magical realist. He does not
trespass the boundaries of conventional narrative just to startle or
confound. He is neither the usual prancing bull in a staid chinashop
of neither traditional fiction, nor a breezy contortionist out to
provide thrills for the reader’s jaded palate. In his hands magic
realism does not degenerate into an elitist parlour game as it does
in, say, Gilbert Sorrentino or, more recently, Rushdie’s Fury.
the importance of nuclear policy to national security
V. P. Malik
Nuclear Weapons and Indian Security
by Bharat Karnad. Macmillan India Limited, 2002.
Pages 724. Rs 795.
Karnad’s Nuclear Weapons and Indian Security is about the
‘role that nuclear weapons have played from the very beginning in
influencing Indian foreign and military policies, the evolution of
Indian strategic thought, the country’s international posture and,
especially, its national security outlook in the context of the larger
and more diffuse cultural milieu, in which ancient wisdom prescribing
the use of weapons of mass destruction coexists with modern concepts of
of a life lived to the fullest
Shadows of Words: An autobiography
by Amrita Pritam, transcreation of the Hindi original by Jyoti
Sabharwal. Macmillan India Limited. Pages 145. Rs 245.
tribute to womanhood by Maya Angelou fits no one more readily than
Amrita Pritam, a phenomenon who defies categorisation. The last words of
Iris Murdoch, incapacitated by Parkinson's disease, where the patient's
mind is a dark abyss, were, "I wrote". Amrita Pritam writes.
That is probably all that matters. This yet another autobiography of
hers, after Rasidi Ticket was published in the seventies, is
proof of a life being lived to the hilt.
has much more variety than I have seen anywhere else”
Joshi was born in Hamburg after World War II. Though she spent
her formative years in Germany but came to India, about three
decades back, when she married Jagdish Joshi who was doing his
PhD in Economics at Hamburg University. The couple returned to
India and Roswitha took up a job in the German Embassy where
she worked for 25 years, but, then decided to quit a full-time
job to take to writing, photography and painting. Life Is
Peculiar (UBS) is her first book. It was recently launched
in New Delhi, and she is already ready with her second book, On
The Rocks which centres around relationships.
N. K. Oberoi
both by Chetna Vaishnavi, International Research Institute, Delhi. Pages
80. Rs 200 and Pages 87. Rs 275 respectively.
Realm is about thorns one is likely to miss while one is infatuated
with flowers. It is a bunch of "playlets" if one could call
them so. By no stretch of speciousness are these "tragedies,"
as Chetna Vaishnavi claims. Tragedy is a specific genre and has a
structure and a literary form. It is not something amorphous, sad and
at diverse aspects of microbes in biotechnology
Advances in Microbial
Biotechnology (Prof. K. G. Mukerji Festschrift Volume)
by J. P. Tewari, T. N. Lakhanpal, Jagjit Singh, Rajni Gupta & B.
P. Chamola. APH Publishing Corporation. Pages 567. Rs. 1500
field of biotechnology is now has attained an independent discipline
in the biological sciences and has gained immense importance in the
recent past. Earlier it has been described as a part of Microbiology
dealing with the study of different organisms in various domains of
living world but presently it is a full-fledged scientific field.
The advanced technology in all biological sciences is based on the
modern knowledge of biotechnology.
Tales of a Grandfather from Assam
(Vol. I to III) by Sahityarathi Lakshminath Bezbaroa, translated from
Assamese by Aruna Devi Mukherjea; Rupa and Co, New Delhi; Pages 80, 75
and 79 respectively. Rs 50 each.
folk-lore of a country mirrors its cultural and social norms that
descend from ancient times and gives a glimpse of the traditional
knowledge of its people which has stood the test of time and one that no
book contains. Some writers have regarded folk-lore as the floating
material from which had emerged the early mythological systems. Some
consider it to be the scattered fragments of half-forgotten mythologies.
Muslim League gamble that paid off
Punjab Divided: Politics of the Muslim League & Partition,
by Amarjit Singh. Kanishka Publisher, New Delhi. Pages 235. Rs 495.
prelude to the Partition, the aftermath of which saw the eruption of
the worst communal carnage the country ever faced, has been a
constant source of interest for historians as well as novelists.
Historians study the role of the Muslim League, especially in Punjab
politics, as the partition affected this area as no other. Almost a
million persons died and 10 million stumbled into this part of the
sub-continent, fending for themselves.
away from homelands
The Making Of Little Punjab In Canada
by Archana B. Verma. Sage Publications, New Delhi.
Pages 254. Rs 495.
truest reality is expressed in the way we cross over from one place to
another, we are migrants and perhaps hybrids, in but not of any
situation in which we find ourselves. This is the deepest continuity of
our lives…" In recent times, people are more open to the idea of
migration and displacement. This has led to the creation of a community
that is in a constant state of mobility and flux. An important section
of this community comprises the immigrants from different countries who
have left their homes for greener pastures.
Rise of Terrorism and Secessionism in Eurasia edited by V .D.
Chopra, Gyan, New Delhi. Pages 340. Rs 660.
very image, meaning and form of terrorism have undergone a
fundamental shift after September 11, 2001. Many publications have
come up in the wake of the "fallout" of a singular tragedy
in New York. The reprisal seems incomplete even after a war in
Afghanistan and many international moves to analyse, understand,
combat and control terrorism.
Climbing on to biodiversity bandwagon
Jayanti Dutta Roy
Biodiversity: Strategies for Conservation
Edited by L.K. Dadhich and A.P. Sharma. APH Publishing
Corporation. New Delhi. Pages 356. Rs 700.
wide variety of physical features and climatic situations in
India has given rise to diverse ecological habitats like
forests, grasslands, wetlands as also coastal, marine and
desert ecosystems harbouring immense biodiversity. Due to this
richness in biological diversity, India figures among the 12
mega-biodiverse countries in the world. Surveys of 65 per cent
of the total area of the country by the Botanical and
Zoological Surveys of India show that there are over 46,000
plant species and 81,000 animal species. The list is being