Category Archives: Books

Happy birthday, Harry Potter!

By Janice Rodrigues

Come July 31, our favourite boy wizard will be celebrating yet another birthday. But it’s probably high time we stop referencing Harry Potter as a ‘boy’ wizard; if he was indeed 12 years old in 1992 (mentioned in The Chamber of Secrets when he celebrated the deathday anniversary of Nearly Headless Nick) then the protagonist in J.K. Rowling’s magical series is — wait for it — turning 39 this year. Continue reading Happy birthday, Harry Potter!

Click play to Roald on

By Emily Thomas

A tribute to Mr. Dahl, the real ‘BFG,’ as we get ready to stream into his make-believe world.

It must’ve been a particular magical day in Cardiff, Wales, with many whimsical musings adrift; the day that Roald Dahl was born. Over a century later, the well-loved author’s enchanting tales continue to delight readers everywhere and are reimagined across platforms. And Netflix is the latest to do so.

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Why, for 18 months, I focused on reading only Arab authors

By Maán Jalal

I’m looking at my goddaughter, who is five, unwrapping the present I have given her. She tears the wrapping slowly at first, then rips it open with one swipe, giggling as she turns over the hardcover of a rather substantially-sized book. Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls 2 by Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo, I read her the title. As I explain what the book is about, she turns the pages and looks at the illustrations.

Continue reading Why, for 18 months, I focused on reading only Arab authors

What is with this misplaced obsession with ‘greatness’?

By Maán Jalal

On May 14, the American author and journalist Tom Wolfe passed away at the age of 88. A satirist, social commentator and observer, Wolfe was a writer whose style changed journalism and influenced a generation of writers after him. Wolfe’s novels forced us take a closer look at society and what we are preconditioned to worship within it. He wrote about social status, our obsession with it and the anxiety it causes — a subject that will never seize to be relevant.

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How I discovered Roth at a bookshop’s clearance sale

By Nivriti Butalia

I first found Roth at a clearance sale of, I think, Om Book Shop in DLF Phase 3, Gurgaon. It wasn’t called Gurugram then. Must have been 2008 or 09. I was excited that a hardback was going so cheap. I hadn’t read Philip Roth but my pretentions were on point. I liked buying books for their covers. Books had to look good and smell good. The font had to be big but not too big. And the more unfamiliar the name of the publishing house, the cooler I felt.

Continue reading How I discovered Roth at a bookshop’s clearance sale