Cryptic in Kashmir
Matt Thorne
Shalimar the Clown
Salman Rushdie. Random House. Pages 398. Rs 595.
IT’S impossible to read a line like "an open city was a naked whore" without picturing Salman Rushdie as Woody Allen’s Isaac Davis in Manhattan, pushing his spectacles back up the bridge of his nose, wiping the sweat from his fevered brow and peering down at the typewriter, feeling sheer delight at the bombast of his own prose.

Books received

Mind of the massacre man
Roopinder Singh
The Butcher of Amritsar: General Reginald Dyer
by Nigel Collett. Rupa. Pages 575. Rs 295.
WE all know him for what he did—butchering civilians at Jallinawala Bagh in 1919—which put him in the hall of infamy the world over and effectively ended his military career. He, however, was not someone who hated Indians; he had, rather, not only been born and brought up in India, but he also spent most of his time with his Indian troops and learnt their languages to communicate better with them.

Just homage
Harsh A. Desai
Evoking H.M. Seervai: Jurist and Authority on the Constitution of India.
Compiled for his Centenary by Feroza H. Seervai. Published by Feroza H. Seervai. Pages 354. Rs525.
THE book has been compiled and published by eminent jurist Homi Seervai’s wife Feroza for his birth centenary. Seervai was born on December 5, 1906. The book is in four parts: recollection by lawyer friends, family friends and family members; Seervai’s articles, papers and memoranda; tributes by Seervai; and letters written to and by Seervai.

An experience called life
The Ocean in my Yard
by Saleem Peeradina. Penguin. Pages 229. Rs 250.
AN introspective and first person account of growing up in Bombay, the author Peeradina takes us on a journey, which is not so much about the physical aspect of it as it is about the still dynamic creation of Saleem Peeradina, the poet, artist, teacher and compulsive watcher of people.

The poet who misread the Word
Jyoti Singh
Blood Kindred: W. B. Yeats, the Life, the Death, the Politics.
W. J. McCormack. Pimlico, London. Pages 482. £ 8.50.
NOBEL Laureate William Butler Yeats (1865-1939) is one of the greatest litt`E9rateurs of the 20th century. His personality has endless fascination for biographers. Blood Kindred serves as his political biography. W. J. McCormack claims to lay bare Yeats’ "political unconscious" and the investigation of "affinities largely denied in life", which various biographers failed to examine.

Stage for picking holes
Gayatri Rajwade
Collected Plays: Volume Two—Screen, Stage and Radio Plays
by Mahesh Dattani Penguin. Pages 572. Rs 450.
THE 10 plays by India’s best-known English playwright, Mahesh Dattani, make you ponder, shaking you out of your reverie and making you doubt your own staunchly held, urban middle class beliefs. Is this not what Dattani excels at? Picking holes in the social milieu and unravelling hypocrisy, intolerance, emotions and concerns, he attempts to get to the core of disquieting aspects of a society that would rather not face up to its collective contradictions of a skewed value system.

Chetan’s second call
UTHOR Chetan Bhagat, whose first book Five-Point Someone on IIT underdogs was a runaway bestseller last year, is ready with his second book on the hot and happening topic of BPOs. To be released by Rupa next month, One Night @ The Call Center is already trendily shortened to ON@TCC.

Punjabi Review
Poignant moments
Nirupama Dutt

  • Main Sare da Sara
    by Halwarvi Tarlochan Publishers, Chandigarh. Pages 160. Rs 150

  • Kamandal
    by Jaswant Deed. Lokgeet Prakashan, Chandigarh. Pages 118. Rs 150

  • Panj Nadian da Geet
    A long poem by Harvinder. Lokgeet Prakashan. Pages 231. Rs 250

Short Takes
Fearless feats
Randeep Wadehra

  • 18 Real Life Stories of Great Valour and Bravery
    by Nupur Majumder. Unistar, Chandigarh. Pages 80. Rs 175

  • Memory, Mind & Body
    by Biswaroop Roy Chowdhury. Fusion Books. Pages: 285. Rs 195.

  • The Armchair Sikh
    by Gajinder Singh. MS Manbir G. Singh, Mohali. Pages 186. Rs 285.