Off the shelf
Oriental myths and realities
V. N. Datta
From Empire to Orient: Travellers to the Middle East (1830-1926)
by Geoffrey P. Nash. I.B. Tauris, London.
Pages VII+247. £ 24.

the formulation of Edward Said’s Orientalism, the Imperial encounter has been viewed in the context of West’s political and cultural domination of the East. However, in the book under review, the author, Geoffrey Nash, Lecturer in English at the University of Sunderland, challenges Said’s conceptual framework of fixed and linear progression.

Venice is his muse
Harsh Desai
His nearly unforgettable first book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, based in Savannah, Georgia which had blazed international best seller charts for several months if not years, after its publication in 1994, was slowly being forgotten and those who remembered, asked whether John Berendt was just another one-book wonder?

A billion issues and development
Meeta Rajivlochan

A Billion is Enough: India’s Population Problem—a Way Out
by Ashok Gupta.
Ajanta Books, New Delhi. Pages 139. Rs 195.

methods for depopulating India seem to excite the Indian elite no end. In Kaliyuga, there will be no benedictions to have a thousand sons. That is the only possible reason why the author of this beautifully argued book on human development in India thinks it fit to title it as one on the population problem of India. Perhaps he has been swayed by the tremendous saleability of ideas about depopulating India.


Gripping tale of Indian worker abroad
R. L. Singal

Autobiography of an Indian Indentured Labourer:  Munshi Rahman Khan (1874-1972)
Shipra Publications.
Pages 271. Rs 495

Large-scale emigration of unskilled labourers from British India took place in the 19th century. These labourers, who were hardly making both ends meet and living in extreme poverty here, found work on much better wages in South America, Asia, Africa and the Caribbean (islands situated in the sea between the West Indies and Central and South America).

Latest Potter is most successful
James T. Madore

Potter hasn't lost a bit of his magic. The sixth book about the boy wizard, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, has sold more than 11 million copies since its U.S. release on July 16, the publisher, Scholastic Corp. says.

Life and language
Tracing the origin of everyday expressions in English, Raj Chatterjee observes that there are few books in the world so replete with words of wisdom as the Old Testament.

any lover of the language, a fascinating study is provided by tracing everyday expressions in English which have their roots in that bestseller of all times, the Bible. Here are a few examples of what I have come across in my ‘research.’7

When poetry transcends the language barrier
C.D. Verma
Angrezi Ke Shreshth Kavi aur Unki Shreshth Kavitayen
by Kuldip Salil
Rajpal & Sons, Delhi, Pages 163. Rs 190.

T is rightly said that poetry transcends language barrier. Prof Kuldip Salil, a former teacher of English in Delhi University, has substantiated this fact in his just published book Angrezi ke Shreshth Kavi aur Unki Shreshth Kavitayen. It is perhaps the first book of its kind. Works of some English poets have been translated from time to time, but an anthology of English verse in Hindi is certainly something new. What is significant is that it is a translation faithful to the original.

Back of the book

  • The Girls from Overseas
    by Nergis Dalal. Penguin Pages 210, Rs 200

  • The Wives of Bath
    by Wendy Holden. Pages 468 £2.99

  • You Remind Me of Me
    by Dan Chaon. John Murray, London. Pages 356. £6.90.

  • Wolves of the Calla The Dark Tower
    by Stephen King. Hodder & Stoughton.
    Pages 616. £9.40.

  • Vishwa Mohan Bhatt — The Musical Messiah
    by Kanchan Mathur. Pages xii+132. Price not stated.