Inspired by A.K. Ramanujan’s essay ‘Food for thought’, the present anthology of South Asian Food Writing was whipped up to respond in part to fulfil his desire for a more diachronic study of food discourse though not trying to provide ‘the social history’ that he craved for.
Samrat Upadhyay, a Nepali author who went to the US at the age of 21 and who has been living there ever since, first studying and then teaching creative writing at various universities, hit big on the international literary scene with his debut Arresting God in Kathmandu, in 2001.
The second volume of Penguin’s annual anthology of new writing from India which came out in 2006 showcases a range of exciting and original work. It certainly introduces ‘new writing’ although not necessarily new writers—many of the contributors appear to be established writers with several literary awards to their credit.
Of the many voices to come out of the subcontinent in the last century, Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s (1911-1984) is perhaps the strongest. He has been described as many things—the misunderstood Marxist, the compassionate humanist, an irresistible charmer and of course the revolutionary poet. Faiz’s poetry lives on,
Curled in the end lies a beginning and in every beginning lies the end of something old. Never is this truer than in the case of countries that are born after prolonged periods of parturition or when they are hived out of old nation states after much blood has been shed.
This is a welcome addition to the critical apparatus available on sub- continental English writers. South Asian writing is as usual an in- vention of the western academy, a convenient label that sub-continental critics can use to talk about issues that concern the nations of the region. However,
When the (resident) Sri Lankan writer Nihal De Silva passed away, it was sad that few in India had heard of him let alone read the Gratiaen award winning book The Road from Elephant Pass. The few copies that did make their way outside the island nation were eagerly consumed, as supply was meagre.