Don of cultural studies
Reviewed by Shelley Walia
Richard Hoggart: Virtue and Reward
by Fred Inglis.
Cambridge/Polity. Pages 259. Rs 2,372
It took a long time coming. The first biography of probably the most eminent cultural critic of the last century brilliantly captures the far-reaching and profound influence of Richard Hoggart and his enduring concern for the ethical quality of human existence. Fred Inglis vividly narrates the gripping story of a young lad who grew up into a "figure of great significance to anyone who cherishes the stuff of culture."


Where mind is our majesty
Reviewed by Mehak Uppal
Obsession: Eternal stories of Life and Death
by Gurpartap Khairah, Bishwa Sigdel, Stormy Hazarika and Suraj Sinha.
Pages 259. Rs 299
Aptly titled, Obsession, the book is a collection of short stories by multiple authors, and each of them shows how an idea or thought can capture a human being's fancy and end up controlling his world. Time and again, the stories convey the message that it does not matter what happens in an individual's life, but what counts is how one responds to the situation. Human beings are as good or bad as the psyche that governs them.

Varied hues of love
Reviewed by Geetu Vaid
The Love Letter and other stories
by Buddhadeva Bose, translated from Bengali by Arunava Sinha.
Rupa. Pages 214. Rs 395
EACH person has his own definition of love and that is the reason why it is difficult to fathom the depth of this emotion. And that perhaps is also the reason why compilations of short stories dealing with the ‘highs and lows’ of love are among the most common volumes found on any book shelf or on a reviewer’s table at any given time.

A phenomenon called General Elections
Reviewed by A. Surya Prakash
An Undocumented Wonder: The Great Indian Election
by S.Y.Quraishi.
Pages 434. Rs 795
In April-May 2014, the Election Commission of India (ECI) made arrangements for electors in the country to exercise their franchise to elect 543 Members of the Lok Sabha. It was attempting something that few institutions in the world would dare to attempt, because of the sheer magnitude of the challenge - a mind-boggling 814 million electors spread across a country that is the most diverse society in the world in terms of ethnicity, religion, language and culture and a nation that throws up geographical, meteorological and demographic challenges in every region and every state. Yet, by and large, the ECI ensured polling and achieved this phenomenal feat with spectacular success.