Sunday, October 12, 2003
unflinching yet compassionate gaze makes him Nobel
2002. J.M. Coetzee flies into the city of Buffalo without fanfare.
He does not want anyone to receive him at the airport. He stands in
line without any fuss, collects his bags, moves towards the exit,
takes a shuttle into the city and checks into the campus guesthouse.
All this is done very quietly, very unobtrusively.
Off the shelf
history of Pakistan
V. N. Datta
idea of producing and publishing a National Dictionary of Biography
was first conceived and implemented by Leslie Stephen, a prominent
literary figure of the 19th century Victorian England. By virtue of
maintaining high standards of scholarship and objectivity, to which
outstanding scholars continue to contribute, the Dictionary of
National Biography has become a vade macum, for the
researcher and intelligentsia.
at its best'
Tejwant Singh Gill
Parallels and Paradoxes: Explorations in Music and Society
by Daniel Barenboim and Edward Said. Pantheon Books, New York. Pages
186. Price $19.
is a wonderful book of conversation between two of the most
"beautiful" minds of the Arab world. One is Edward Said,
the eminent thinker and critic, whose death is a matter of sorrow
for intellectuals, the world over. Palestinian by birth, he did the
most to draw the world's attention to the agony of his people.
and daggers made in France
Murder in Memoriam
by Didier Daeninckx. Rupa France. Pages 176. Rs 195.
The Fairy Gunmother
by Daniel Pennac. Rupa France. Pages 247. Rs 295.
murder-mystery genre seems to belong to just a few writers. Names
like Agatha Christie, Alfred Hitchcock, PD James, Anne Perry keep
cropping up. It is unfortunate that newer writers do not seem to be
getting the exposure required to catch up with these giants.
life in verse
Darshan Singh Maini
by Harjeet Singh Gill. Harman, New Delhi. Pages 188. Rs 600.
do not yet know how Harjeet Singh Gill, Emeritus Professor of
Semiotics, JNU, was spurred into song when he elected to write in
verse form the story of Guru Nanak, and of his divine hymns in a
capsuled, simple, but effective style.
the secret world of Seven Sisters
Land of Early Dawn - North East of India
by Romesh Bhattacharji. Rupa & Co. Pages 331. Rs 395.
students of Aligarh Muslim University, we, a group from North-East
used to stick close to each other. Not to symbolise the unity of the
'Seven Sisters', but to avoid the awkward questions often hurled at
us about people from the North-East.
a chill down the spine
The Rupa Book of Scary Stories
edited by Ruskin Bond. Rupa, New Delhi. Pages 175. Rs 295.
scientist is said to have
exclaimed, "Thank God, I am an atheist." Most of us are
similarly Janus-faced in our attitudes. Under the surface of our
self-professed skepticism and loudly proclaimed rational approach,
there lie some dark, obscure corners in our unconscious.
does your future add up to?
The Power of Numbers
by P. Khurrana. Crest Publishing House. Pages 256. Rs 125.
nature is such that even if we have everything we could possibly
want, we still keep looking for ways to find out what the future
holds for us. In our quest for the perfect future, we are willing to
try anything under the sun that holds the promise of better times
from the Indian perspective
Terrorism Post 9/11
edited by PR Chari & Suba Chandran. Manohar. Pages 309. Rs 450.
does not shock us anymore. It has become a part of our collective
psyche. Incendiary rhetoric, explosions in crowded places,
blood-spattered bodies, weeping widows and orphans and other gory
images that register on our consciousness are subject to the law of