Kalpana Sahni’s selection of reminiscences on Tolstoy translated for the first time into English, brings to life the 19th century literary scene in Russia. This book is an attempt to show the many-sided personality of Tolstoy through the memoirs of his relatives, friends, acquaintances and contemporaries. Tolstoy’s 150th birth anniversary coincided with the publication of hitherto unpublished material on him, in the USSR.
Muktibodh Rachanvali is a six volume compilation of the total literary output of one of the most remarkable writers of our time. Born in 1917 at Sheopur, Gwalior, in a middle-class family, Muktibodh died in New Delhi in 1964 after a prolonged illness, leaving behind a sizeable body of work most of it unpublished.
This unexpected and delightful autobiography would have been extra-ordinary enough for its lively, concrete and witty prose (all qualities rarely found in English written by Indian authors) but becomes even more so when one discovers it is the work of a Bengali Muslim who left school.
Anthologies of the writings of a single individual of this type are rare; either they are collections of admonitory sayings with a political purpose on a much briefer compass like Mao Tse-tung’s Red Book or varied selections of the utterances of the great man concerned on a particular topic spread over the years.
Maleeha Lodhi’s edited volume is one of the few books that Pakistan military’s Inter-Services Public Relations’ head Maj. General Athar Abbas recommends to his visitors. The value of this book for Pakistan’s armed forces and establishment is that it presents Pakistan as ‘beyond a crisis state’.
Terrorism as a subject has evoked a great deal of academic interest from various disciplines. Professor Unaiza, a consultant psychiatrist and psychotherapist, has put together this work ‘to sensitize and create awareness about the relentless sufferings of innocent civilians globally following 9/11.’
Despite being consciously underestimated’ and described in anodyne terms as ‘unconventional’ or ‘irregular’ conflict’ the fact is that ‘insurgency’ has been the most common form of warfare in history. Conventional or regular conflict’ in brief’ ‘wars’ as commonly understood’ is the exception’ rather than the rule’ if past conflicts were to be reviewed.