Category Archives: Books

What the Twitter part of our brain likes, and other stories

By Anamika Chatterjee

How does one define ‘modern Muslim identity’ without boxing it into lazy stereotypes? One of the more poignant books on the issue was British Pakistani writer Kamila Shamsie’s Home Fire, which was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize last year. Come March, and Shamsie will be in town to be part of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature. Ahead of her appearance, Shamsie speaks to us about the need to address political anger in modern literature. Continue reading What the Twitter part of our brain likes, and other stories

“I write in a language that I understand. I am not elite”

By Anamika Chatterjee

Imagine being called the JRR Tolkien of India. Penning books that have sold four million copies. Production houses vying for the film adaptation rights for your book. Amish Tripathi, 43 years old, is living that dream. In 2010, the banker-turned-author self-published his first book, The Immortals of Meluha after the manuscript was rejected by several publishers. The stories spun off a series, and Tripathi became a household name. The vivid world located at the heart of Hindu mythology has appealed to millions of readers, even though critics have often frowned upon the linguistic merits of his books. In a conversation with Khaleej Times ahead of his appearance at the Reader’s World Book Fair today, Tripathi tells us what you need to learn, and unlearn, in order to be a bestselling author in India.

Continue reading “I write in a language that I understand. I am not elite”

She wrote about her life as an Arab immigrant in Germany

By Maan Jalal

One of the most powerful takeaways from reading Souad Mekhennet’s memoir was something her grandfather told her. The people with power are the ones who write history, he said. This statement is something that proves true, time and time again, in Mekhennet’s life. It is the foundation for the work she does and what drives her to put her life at risk as a journalist.

Continue reading She wrote about her life as an Arab immigrant in Germany

As a Bengali, literature is Tagore and Tagore is lit…

By Anamika Chatterjee

At the age of 17, I might have been on the brink of greatness. You know, the brand of greatness that eventually lends itself to a six-digit pay cheque. My brother — seven years my senior — had been an academic genius who had decided his abilities were best reserved for the cause of higher studies, much to my parents’ delight and grandmother’s dismay. “One member in the family must nurture a desire to make big bucks,” she’d rue. So, imagine her excitement when I told her of my desire to pursue chartered accountancy (my grades then supported my ambition). Continue reading As a Bengali, literature is Tagore and Tagore is lit…

Comics win coz what’s not to love about funny pictures

By Nivriti Butalia

I can’t remember when I started reading Archie comics but I remember once spending Rs60 of my Rs100 school pocket money in Shimla at the Minerva Book House on a Betty and Veronica, a too slim edition. It had a pink cover. Veronica was trying on a green dress and Betty was looking on wistfully. Continue reading Comics win coz what’s not to love about funny pictures

Reading came later. As a kid, I was too busy playing outside

By Kelly Clarke

There’s a game I sometimes play with friends. It’s usually over text, and it’s usually when I’m at a loose end. It’s an ‘either/or’ approach to battling boredom. But rules do apply. The response to each question must come in thick and fast. No dillydallying or thinking about your answer. It has to be a knee-jerk reaction; an honest reaction. Continue reading Reading came later. As a kid, I was too busy playing outside