An extraordinary soldier
Gen V.P. Malik (retd)
General S. M. Shrinagesh:
Soldier, Scholar, Statesman
by Brig Satish K. Issar
VSM (retd) Vision Books. Pages 360. Rs 595.
THIS book is an ably
done mix of an autobiography and a biography. While the autobiography
part describes the original, fairly voluminous, notes left by the late
General and preserved by the family, the biography part is the author’s
exhaustive and painstaking researched narration of events of General’s
personal and professional life. The author’s major advantage is that
he belongs to the late General’s regiment—Kumaon Regiment—and
knows the family well.
A BOLD DEBUT
novel is inspired by 1987 train siege, writes Madhusree Chatterjee
Mahadevan moved to
the US from India when he was 17. But Tamil Nadu, where he grew up,
stayed with him like a snapshot from childhood. Years later, the
writer has managed to recapture some of it in his debut novel Strike.
for Strike was, in fact, an actual strike that stopped the
Tamil Nadu Express in Ennore station on Christmas Eve in 1987. I was
nine years old that year, travelling with my parents and my brother in
the train and even today, I can remember the smells of that stagnant
train in that small station for hours," Mahadevan told IANS in an
Dreams we weave
The Indian Night: Sleep
in Indian Culture
Ed. Claudine Bautze-Picron. Rupa & Co. Pages 661. Rs 395.
DREAMS and their
interpretation have a quality of mysticism that has enticed the
interest of readers and students over the years. The dream analysis
and associative symbolism of Freud and Jung was the start of the
theorisation of dreams. However, the corpus of dream interpretation in
the Indian context is not only small but also restricted to the
academic field. A collection of as many as 22 papers on the symbolism
associated with dreams in Indian culture, thus comes as manna from
heaven for the ‘dream’-deprived readership.
Asian giants in focus
India and China: The
Eds S. D. Muni and
Suranjan Das. Rupa & Co in
association with Observer Research
Foundation. Pages viii+135. Rs 395.
THIS thin volume,
the end-result of a joint seminar of the Observer Research Foundation
and the university of Calcutta, was designed to look at the ‘constructive
as well as conflictual’ dimensions of the India-China engagement.
Among the participants were economists, strategic experts, senior
diplomats as well as academics, journalists and policy makers
presenting a ‘balanced and meaningful’ perspective on the two
countries’ relationship with each other as well as the rest of the
On Vasco da Gama’s
For Pepper and Christ
by Keki N. Daruwalla. Penguin Books. Pages 354. Rs 399.
continents provide ready stuff for a novelistic take off. Playing safe
in his debut novel, Keki N. Daruwalla chooses to recount Vasco da Gama’s
path-breaking expeditions to India in the 15th century through a
topography that requires fastidiousness of a seasoned navigator and a
map-maker. The novel extrapolates the reader to medieval time and
space without effort.
How to get a book deal
Tim Clare writes about
the secret of his success
IF you want to be a
footballer, or a heart surgeon, or an astronaut, there are clear
prerequisites and cut-off points—before you proceed you must acquire
such-and-such a qualification, if you haven’t achieved such-and-such
by the age of 20 your chances of a career are zero. By stark contrast,
becoming a professional author calls for a highly subjective skillset,
recognises no age limit, and can even co-exist alongside other jobs.
Tyrant who ruled the
IN her famous 1857
biography of Charlotte Bront`EB, Elizabeth Gaskell described the
author’s clergyman father Patrick as a "strange" and
"half-mad" man who was "not naturally fond of
children". Ever since, the unfortunate Reverend Bront`EB, whose
children Anne, Emily and Charlotte penned some of the most enduring
novels in English literature, has been regarded as a cold and
unfeeling man who terrorised his family with his sudden bursts of
In The Kitchen
By Monica Ali.
Doubleday. Pages 432. £ 10.79
have not fared
well in recent fiction. In Irvine Welsh’s last-but-one novel, The
Bedroom Secrets of the Master Chefs, Alan De Fretais was about as
appealing as the proverbial reheated souffl`E9. Marrow, by
Tiffanie Darke, a former close friend of Gordon Ramsay, was about an
arrogant, sex-obsessed (and entirely fictional) celebrity chef. So it
is interesting to see how the bullying ignoramus of popular legend
will appear, when given the light touch of Monica Ali.
Footprints of history
Haryana: The Torchbearer
By Tejinder Singh Walia.
Aggarwal Parkashan. Pages 250. Rs 990.
The Chandigarh: An
By S.P. Gupta. Ess Pee
Publications. Pages 300. Rs 395.
Music for the eyes
By Lovleen Baidwan Sohi.
Unistar. Pages 152. Rs 200.