Tag: India

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 ...

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 ...