Tag: India

The Banality of Empire

One of the basic paradoxes of British imperialism is that even as it relied so fundamentally on violence, it insisted on presenting itself as opposed to violence, indeed as dedicated to stamping it ...

India’s Garbage Politics

Writing in 1993, after decades spent documenting America’s shifting landscapes, poet A. R. Ammons suggested that “garbage [ought] to be the poem of our time.” Inspired by “mounds of disposal” along a ...

Indian Queer Futures

The landmark Delhi High Court verdict in 2009 striking down Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code—the section criminalizing homosexual sex—heralded a significant shift in queer activism and queer ...

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 ...