Unsung diaspora
Himmat Singh Gill

From Jhelum to Tana by Neera Kapur-Dromsom. Penguin Books. Pages 433. Rs 395.
The Punjabis are known for their intrepid spirit and answering the call of the unknown by venturing across the seven seas in pursuit of making a better livelihood. Accounts of the early migration of the Sikh predominant peasantry to the Imperial Valley in California or the perilous sail across the oceans by Gurdit Singh and his fearless band of men in the Komagata Maru to Canada, where the Western Pacific Railway awaited their long hours of labour and toil, are of course well documented by now.

Public reforms: Islands of excellence
V. Eshwar Anand
Learn From Them: A Compilation of Best Practices
Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances, Government of India. Penguin Enterprise, Pages 177. Rs 225

reforms and good governance are pet subjects of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Ever since he took charge in South Block three years ago, he has taken various initiatives to make the administrative system transparent and result-oriented.

Beautiful tales of yore
Amarinder Sandhu
The Magic Drum and Other Favourite Stories
by Sudha Murthy. Puffin Original.
Pages 145. Rs 150.

Storytelling is an art which seems to have died. Before television invaded the households, children gathered around their grandparents after dinner and grandpa or grandma would spin yarns. Stories were passed down the generations. The Magic Drum and Other Favourite Stories is an excellent attempt by the author to keep these stories alive. Some stories never grow old, and Murthy has captured the very essence of these tales. The stories are eminently readable, beautifully spun and will have a mass audience.

Catch it
Gaurav Kanthwal
Men in White: A Book of Cricket by Mukul Kesavan. Penguin Viking. Pages 278. Rs 395.

by the title and introduction of this book, one anticipates reading specifically about Test cricket, but inside all the talk is about cricket in general. The simplicity of description invites the reader to trace the evolution of cricket and the way the game is played and watched now. It records an experience of a fan who watches real action on the ground and how those spectacular events are etched in his memory as sublime forever.

Potter Successor found?
Lindesay Irvine

epic quest for an elusive golden grail, journeys around the world, fierce challenges, clues found in dusty manuscripts along with many a red herring.

Sensitive minds
Ramesh Luthra
21 Under 40
edited by Anita Roy. Zubaan, New Delhi. Pages 239. Rs 295.
21 Under 40 is a remarkable anthology of short stories penned by South Asian Women. It can be truly called an appreciable attempt by Anita Roy to bring the young talent to the very doorstep of all those who are fond of this genre. It gives us a nice glimpse of the sensitive perceptions and observations of the young writers who look at life from their own angle.

Grandad of Punjabi novel
Sidhu Damdami

grand old man of the Punjabi literature Surinder Singh Narula who passed away recently in Ludhiana where he lived most of his life, belonged to a tribe of Punjabi writers who not only had a background in English but also made their debut as writers in English before switching to Punjabi in the fifth and sixth decade of the last century.

Nigerian who gave Africans a voice
Achebe began writing after an aborted career in politics because he had a burning desire to change the world. Two years later, his first novel, Things Fall Apart, set in his Nigerian homeland, did just that.