Love, longing and Land
Roopinder Singh
The Tale of the Phoenix
by Dalip Kaur Tiwana. Tr. Nikky-Guninder Kaur Singh. Unistar Books. Pages 104. Rs 195.
London is where Nirmal, the protagonist, lives with his family and Punjab is where his heart is. "I wonder about these desires that have led us so far from our homeland. Like birds, we have landed in alien countries, on alien soil. To make money? What our earnings, will we ever be able to return to our country? Will we ever return home," Nirmal asks.

Books received: english


Tales of ordinary people
Harbans Singh
Street Singers of Lucknow and Other Stories
by Qurratulain Hyder. Women Unlimited an Associate of Kali for Women. Pages 228. Rs 350.
FOR many among us who have come to associate with Urdu story writing, what came to be known as ‘progressive’ writing, Qurratulain Hyder’s Street Singers of Lucknow represent a genre that refuses to be defined by clich`E9s and the need to serve the purpose of class conflicts. In fact, Hyder’s choice of subjects are likely to interest successive generations for, free as they are of the burden to serve a greater cause, they unfold human drama that is both gripping as well as disturbing.

Dalit life and beyond
Pankaj K. Singh
Amma and Other Stories
by Omprakash Valmiki. Translation and Introduction by Naresh K. Jain. Manohar, New Delhi. Pages 243. Rs 595.
IN the Preface to his autobiography Joothan, Omprakash Valmiki, eminent Hindi poet, theatre artist and political activist, states, "Dalit life is excruciatingly painful, charred by experiences. Experiences that did not manage to find room in literary creations." The 15 short stories in this collection, poignantly and graphically present Dalit life "charred by experiences" and document "the acute pain of the world around me" as Valmiki puts it, who himself was born in a Dalit family in village Barla in western Uttar Pradesh.

Taboos explored
Aradhika Sharma
Good Times for Everyone: Sexuality Questions, Feminist Answers
by Radhika Chandiramani. Women Unlimited. Pages 224. Rs 200.
A clinical psychologist who works with a Delhi-based NGO, TARSHI, Radhika Chandiramani was also a columnist for the Asian Age newspaper. The book is a collection of selected letters that her column, Midlife Crisis, received, which Radhika answered. She has put the queries into sections, and given the lay reader questions (and answers) about sex, health, love relationships and all the bird and bees, and what not.

Religion and art along the Silk Route
Indian & Central Asian Art: Narrative Interpretations of Unique Fragments
by P. Banerjee and Radha Banerjee-Sarkar. Abha Prakashan. Pages 164. Rs 4,000.
HINDU god Shiva’s consort — Shakti or Durga — was worshipped in the ancient Khotan region of China in the seventh century AD, reveals a new book that traces how Buddhism and Hinduism flourished together in China, India and Central Asia along the ancient Silk Route.

Library of secrets
John Lichfield in Paris
veryone’s life is a novel, which has not yet been written. Or in some In a small town in eastern France, there is a library, or archive, of intimate secrets: a collection of 2,500 unpublished and mostly unpublishable autobiographies, diaries, scrapbooks, bundles of letters and collections of emails dating from the early 19th century to last month.

Whitbread winner loses battle for life
David McKittrick
hristopher Nolan, the Irish writer who despite being almost entirely immobilised by cerebral palsy produced works which brought him awards and international acclaim, has died at the age of 43. With no real control over the movement of his body, Nolan, 43, could write only by directing a pointer attached to his head at a keyboard, with the aid of his family.

Matter of mind and spirit
Randeep Wadehra

  • The Midnight Awakening
    by Rajeev M. Kaushik. Rupa & Co. Pages: XIV+247. Rs 295.

  • Splendid Mirror of Life
    by N.S Tasneem. Jaswant Printers. Pages 144. Rs 200.

  • The Ghost in Hamlet
    by Syed Rifaquat Ali. Phulkian Press. Pages: VIII+158. Rs 300.