Reviewed by Raghuvendra Tanwar
Understanding Politics and
By Hardwari Lal. Edited by Prem Chowdhary. Manak Publications. Pages
423. Rs 700.
was a man whose
presence could never be ignored; he lived an eventful life rarely
sparing the chance of calling a spade a spade, taking on Chief Ministers
and Judges alike. Defiance was virtually in his genes. In the foreword
to this interesting compilation of some of Hardwari Lal’s essays
contributed mainly to leading newspapers, Khushwant Singh notes: "Hardwari
Lal was a true son of the soil an icon of defiance ... all said and done
he was a Jat, violence and litigation were in his blood."
Litigation, yes; but violence, no — he was a man of words and never of
Reviewed by Uma Vasudeva
By Premchand. Trans. Manju Jain. Penguin Books. Pages 641. Rs 550.
title itself means, "The arena of life" — which is so apt to
the entire book. It is life playing itself in its arena and in many
shapes, forms and emotions. The novel is a resounding proclamation of a
resolve that the battle of freedom from the British Empire will continue
notwithstanding the absence of prominent leaders, including Gandhi. As
Soordas soliloquises on his deathbed, they will continue to fight with
renewed strength and unity and will recoup their forces even though they
take on office infidelity
Reviewed by Viv Groskop
The Forgotten Waltz
By Anne Enright. Jonathan Cape. Pages 240. £ 16.99.
has become fashionable lately to complain of "fiction
fatigue". David Shields’ book Reality Hunger argued that
we’ve all had enough of novels. His bone of contention? Their plots
and tricks are fake and phoney and can’t tell us anything about real
life. "Conventional fiction teaches the reader that life is a
coherent, fathomable whole," writes Shields, when really, life
"flies at us in bright splinters".
Reviewed by Ashok
The Partition of India
By Ian Talbot and Gurharpal Singh. Cambridge University Press. Pages
206. Rs 695.
book tends to peep into the annals of history and politics of the Asian
sub-continent. As the title of the book suggests, it deals with the
pulsating events leading to the segregation of two great communities and
the resultant bifurcation of Bharat known the world over for its
cultural affluence and rich heritage. It tends to drive that Partition
was the most traumatic event of the century, while Independence was the
most significant turning point in Indian history.
Reviewed by Shalini
First Proof 6: The Penguin Book of New Writing
Penguin Books. Pages 217. Rs 250.
enchanting world of words throws new surprises both for the reader as
well as the writer at every corner. The sculptor of words looks deep
within the dark recesses of his mind, for therein lie memories. He
forages through them, waiting and examining the ones which reflect more
vividly on their surface the passage of time. Like the strangely shaped
shell on the shore, a lustrous pine cone on a secluded path or a shiny
pebble on a stream bed, one of these suddenly catches his fancy.
of the times
The humorous side of Pakistan's
troubles comes forth in Tender Hooks
Pakistani author Moni Mohsin was struck with a familiar case of writer's
block, she turned to humour to cure it. Rather than writing a serious
novel about what ails Pakistan, she told the story of a nation in
turmoil through the eyes of Butterfly Khan, a socialite whose social
life suffers because of fundamentalists and terror threats. Tender
Hooks is her third novel, based on characters that were part of a
column she used to write for a Pakistani newspaper, The Friday Times.
Mohsin speaks about her book and why she chose humour as a means to tell
British author tackles
five-book epic that covers a century, 20 years at a time
71, bestselling British author Jeffrey Archer is tackling his biggest
project to date — a five-novel saga called The Clifton Chronicles that
sweeps through the 20th century and into the 21st. The
first instalment, Only Time Will Tell, has just been published,
and follows Harry Clifton, whose angelic voice is his ticket into a good
education and out of grinding poverty. He befriends Giles Barrington,
born into a wealthy family, and falls in love with his sister Emma, but
a tragic twist of fate threatens his happiness and the story ends with
World War II looming over the lives of the entire cast.
Mastermind of the 9/11
attack, Osama bin Laden, spawned a vast booty of books
Osama: The Making of a
by Jonathan Randal
book by a former Washington Post correspondent chronicles Osama's
combat experiences as an anti-Soviet jehadi, his growing radicalisation
and the role that various mentors and surrogate fathers played in his