Finding Fact in Fiction

Real life intrudes on fiction all the time. Kalpish Ratna indulge in some literary detection as they search for clues to the true character of Arthur Conan Doyle in Sherlock Holmes’ life and movements

From Tagore to Thakur

Durga puja pandals have clay figurines of Tagore. As do Saraswati puja ceremonies. Parents buy their kids Tagore dolls. In a state where the Left dismissed him as too elitist, Sumana Roy observes the canonisation of the poet-educationist

Mimics and Models

Whatever Jane Austen might think, PD James’ Death Comes to Pemberley ranks among the finest examples of literary mimicry, a genre that has good reason to exist

The Big Lie of Sport

The notion that sport makes gentlemen out of men and promotes fair play is spin doctoring. A Victorian novelist called Thomas Hughes started it with Tom Brown’s Schooldays, says Mihir Bose

Has Pankaj Mishra Ever Been to South Dakota?

For a writer whose first book was a travelogue around small-town India, Pankaj Mishra seems strangely unwilling to engage with the complexities, or provincialities, of the United States. In his recent scathing review of Harvard historian Niall Ferguson’s book Civilisation: The West and the Rest, as in his other writings, Mishra seems interested in America only to the extent that he can caricature its ruling elite in order to knock them down, says Ethan Casey

Writer Unblocked

Writing a Mills & Boon novel rekindled a romance in Aastha Atray Banan’s life—the one with words. For, it finally allowed her to let go of the fear of being judged as a writer

Death of the Reader

Readers who ignore historical silences in fiction by authors like Zadie Smith and Khalid Hosseini are just buying into the feel-good myth of multiculturalism

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