Vidya Dehejia who has published two important books, Early Buddhist Rock Temples (1972) and Early Stone Temples of Orissa 91978), is a dedicated scholar of Indian art. But in the present publication she steps down from the high pedestal of specialized scholarship to perform what is a very important task, that of interesting the man in the street in our great heritage.
Mulk Raj Anand’s first novel Untouchable was published in 1935. Anand, then a Bloomsbury intellectual, had written the first draft over a long weekend in 1930: ‘the book poured out like hot lava from the volcano of my crazed imagination’. He revised the book after a short stay with Gandhiji in the Sabarmati Ashram, and returned to London to find a publisher.
The principal purpose of Nigel Harris’ book seems to be to attack some of the more durable prejudices underlying urban policy in India. The analysis of Bombay’s problems is merely an instrument for putting forward what could be described as a radical economist’s view of city planning.
Reading Literature Today by Tabish Khair and Sebastien Doubinsky is precisely eponymous, it delves into the matter of reading and readers, as well as of writing and writers. The world is as much a text in this book as the word is, and the writers show how the makers of the world text are pushing the word text to a bestselling culture, and a culture of silent (and violent) complacency.