‘Silence is my language’

Atoor Ravi Varma, winner of the Sahitya Akademi awards for poetry and translation, talks about his work, his passion for music and travel.
  • The gun

    A short story
  • India is so different from anywhere else: Jung Chang

    Her books are banned in her homeland China. But Jung Chang is all excited to be in India for The Hindu Lit for Life 2015.
  • We need to save the idea of India: Nayantara Sahgal

    Nayantara Sahgal will speak about her works and the values she grew up with at The Hindu Lit for Life 2015.
  • Not so tall tales

    David Davidar on his fascination with short stories and how he put together A Clutch of Indian Masterpieces.
The Colonel Who Would Not Repent: The Bangladesh War and its Unquiet Legacy: Salil Tripathi, Aleph Book Company, Rs.595.
January 3, 2015

Of retribution and reconciliation

Atrocities on a massive scale accompanied the creation of Bangladesh in 1971; few of those responsible were punished. The Pakistan army officers and men, the major perpetrators, were taken to Indi... »
The 2010 debut: (From right) The winner Manu Joseph with Nayantara Sahgal, Shashi Deshpande, Brinda Bose, Mukul Kesavan, and Gopalkrishna Gandhi. Photo: V. Ganesan
January 3, 2015

A prized possession

Nothing, really, is built in a day; not even Rome. So an award that both recognises and awards excellence in literature must make its mark a little deeper every year and, in a space already filled... »
Rajmohan Gandhi: author, biographer and human rights activist. Photo: S. Subramanium
January 3, 2015
Lit for Life 2015

I love my books equally: Rajmohan Gandhi

Rajmohan Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, is a celebrated author, biographer among others of Gandhi and Sardar Patel, ex-parliamentarian researcher and a human rights activist engaged in b... »
Amish Tripathi.
January 3, 2015
Lit For Life 2015

My women characters are strong: Amish Tripathi

“Now you know why banks go bankrupt — because we aren’t at our jobs and writing books most of the time!” Amish Tripathi may be just another banker-turned-writer to some but, to many, he is the guy... »
James Joseph in his home office.
January 3, 2015
Lit For Life 2015

It all began at LFL

A vacation is just a swivel away from James Joseph’s work desk. His home office overlooks the stunning backwaters of Aluva, Kerala. Think of all the days you have yearned to work from home when st... »
Somnath Batabayal
January 3, 2015

‘It’s a realistic novel’

So, how much of it is true?Several of the stories are true; they happened to me or around me. For example, the licence scam story and the kidnapping story are straight out of my early... »
Being Mortal by Atul Gawande
January 3, 2015

Mortal thoughts

Over the years, along with our enhanced understanding of the human body, medicine has played a significant role in shaping our experience of life and death. Diseases that may have killed off our re... »
J.K. Rowling
January 3, 2015

Advance booking

And 2014 slid past, faster than we could read through the calendar. But 2015 promises to have many good things up its capacious — and metaphorical — sleeve. Whether you like the feel and heft of a... »
Stone Mattress; Margaret Atwood; Bloomsbury; Rs.599
January 3, 2015

The great darkness

Writer’s block is clearly not an issue that affects Margaret Atwood. Stone Mattress, an anthology of nine unusual tales, is her 55th book. That this award-winning Canadian author’s prolific... »
Throwing Sparks; Abdo Khal, Bloomsbury.
January 3, 2015

A depraved paradise

Even though Abdo Khal lives in Jeddah, his work is not available in his own country, Saudi Arabia, due to its dissident overtones. Khal won the International Prize for Arabic Fiction for Throwin... »

Freudian theories

Lit for life is five

Queen of crime

Racy read

And thereby hangs a tale

People and lives

Essaying it with style

Man of the masses

Breaking News: A Woman in a Man’s World; Kamla Mankekar, Rupa, Rs.395
January 3, 2015

Keepers of the keys

Women proliferate in the world of the media today in India. You see them on all television news channels, covering everything from politics, to business, to sport, to entertainment. They are anchor... »
Ahdaf Souief: novelist and political and social commentator. Photo: R. Ravindran
January 3, 2015
Lit for Life 2015

I’ve written no fiction since my first visit to Palestine in 2000: Ahdaf Soueif

The events following the “Arab Spring” in Cairo’s Tahrir Square have not unfolded quite the way protestors had imagined. In 2011, Egyptians looked forward to a change. Today, three years later, th... »
Charles Allen: historian, broadcaster and traveller.
January 3, 2015
Lit For Life 2015

I believe in the Age of Reason: Charles Allen

With a recorded family association with India that goes back to the Revolt of 1857, Charles Allen — historian, broadcaster, and the author of 23 books on the Indian subcontinent — has an intense,... »
Ashok Srinivasan. Photo: Shanker Chakravarty
January 3, 2015
Lit for Life 2015

Luminous darkness

Ashok Srinivasan began writing at the age of 14, and after courting obscurity for decades, finally decided to publish his collection of short stories Book of Common Signs. Shortlisted for T... »
The Price You Pay by Somnath Batabyal
January 3, 2015

All guns blazing

When I met Somnath Batabyal earlier this year, I promised to read his first novel The Price You Pay but never got down to it. When I heard recently that the book’s rights had been bought by... »
The Dramatic Decade: The Indira Gandhi Years; Pranab Mukherjee
January 3, 2015
Book Extract

The Midnight Drama: Declaration of the Emergency

A few minutes before midnight on 25 June 1975, the President of India, Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed, proclaimed a ‘State of Emergency’ under Article 352 of the Constitution. I was in Calcutta for my Rajya... »
One Thousand and one Nights by Hanan Al-Shaykh.
January 3, 2015

Bedtime tales

The timeless Arabic classic One Thousand and One Nights has enthralled people all over the world for more than a millennium. Most of us are charmed and captivated by characters with magical... »
The Silkworm; Robert Galbraith.
January 3, 2015

Byte-sized reading

The past year was a watershed year in publishing. In January, the buzz was around the importance of digital publishing, e-books and self-publishing and how technology had made it “easier” to produc... »
The Last Wave: An Island Novel; Pankaj Sekhsaria, HarperCollins, Rs.350.
January 3, 2015

Serpents in Eden

Harish Kumar comes to the Andaman Islands to … well, it’s not clear what his purpose is. What he sees, who he meets and interacts with, what he notices… makes up the story and it is not the happie... »
The Novel Cure; Ella Berthoud and Susan Elderkin, Canongate Books Ltd, Rs. 1489.
January 3, 2015

Word cures

When I heard that The Novel Cure was about something its authors referred to as ‘bibliotherapy’, I was naturally curious. At first glance in the bookshop, it seemed to be a literary list rec... »

Fragmented reality

Literati: A look at the world of books, publishing and writers

Leap of faith


This country, these people

Journeys galore

Reign men

Ancient vibes