Tag: India

Great Aspirations

Chetan Bhagat is possibly the most successful Indian English novelist ever, having sold over seven million copies of his books over a relatively short career. But he is largely unheard of in the ...

Signs of Bombay

In December 2016, Public Books Editor in Chief Sharon Marcus spent a few days in Mumbai, participating in the Times of India Literary Festival and walking around the city. Mumbai, also known as ...

Singing in the Dark

They came to bury her with praises but, defeated once again by her sheer presence, their words shriveled and rotted in the monsoon damp. As Mahasweta Devi’s dead body lay in a Kolkata hospital on ...

A Storm of Words

Imagine a world where the hottest degree was an MPA, a Masters in Poetry Administration. Where a single poem could send global financial markets into a spin, where poets were the envy of all, and ...

Building Up the Alphabet Again

I am reading an interview with Mahasweta Devi from 2002.1 At 75, having won renown for her fiction about the lives of peripheral peoples, she is full of delight at her continued discoveries: “I do ...

Beyond the Bubble

This essay was originally published in The Caravan.   In 2002, a year after Amartya Sen’s well-known essay on hunger, “Old Torments and New Blunders,” was first published, I travelled through ...

Pakistan’s Place in World Literature

There are international novels you read and feel fairly certain will circulate among book clubs and appear on display tables at trendy bookstores in the US. Mirages of the Mind, published in 1990 in ...

A Map of Lost Longings

This is an archive. I’ve found the remains of his voice, that map of longings with no limit. —Agha Shahid Ali, “The Country without a Post Office” It has been a peculiar month to be an Indian ...

Jhumpa Lahiri’s Modernist Turn

Jhumpa Lahiri’s In altre parole announces the birth of a modernist. Written in hard-won Italian and reverberating with the energy of early 20th-century literary experiment, In altre parole describes ...

Seeing Things

December 1, 2015 — One of the great myths of our time concerns the promise of a global vision, of seeing things with the power, distance, and clarity of an all-encompassing vantage point, what Donna ...

O My Swineherd!

The last century may have ushered in an epoch of wars that have no end, but Homer’s Odyssey continues to inspire. You do not have to be James Joyce or Derek Walcott to find the story of a man’s ...