C.V. Murali

Rajat Sen, a bright, idealistic student, the only son of a well to do family, believes in an egalitarian society rather than an elitist one. This belief in the young engineering student drags him to become a part of the Naxalite movement in Bengal in the early seventies, which was a violent movement for creating an egalitarian society.

Reviewed by: Dipu Bezbaruah
Timeri N. Murari

Hmm. So Page 3 people in Chennai are just like Page 3 people in Delhi, or Mumbai, or anywhere! That’s the message of Timeri Murari’s new book, The Small House.

Reviewed by: Sanam Khanna
R. Clement Ilango

The title, Happiness is a Butterfly, refers to the ephemeral nature of love. In this case quite literally, that between men and women. It is this attempt to canvas all aspects of ‘love’ ranging from the physical to the spiritual that perhaps bogs the book down.

Reviewed by: Anandana Kapur
Jaishree Misra

Jhalkaribai, in Brindavanlal Varma’s novel and dalit historiographical discourse, is Laxmibai’s maid-servant, the woman responsible for the Rani of Jhansi’s halo in history. Jaishree Misra’s novel, Rani, is another such metaphorical interpretation of the Mutiny, not ‘description’, as the philosopher-historian Frank Ankersmit would emphasize, but ‘proposal’, what Misra calls ‘mere interpretation’.

Reviewed by: Sumana Roy
Rishi Reddi

For the last couple of decades of the twentieth century, as Indian diasporic writing carved a niche for itself in the publishing and academic world, the rubric was used as a fairly monolithic one, encompassing a range of what many seem as distinctive conventions and characteristics.

Reviewed by: S. Thomas
Rimi B. Chatterji

The City of Love is a fascinating novel ranged around the central metaphor of multiple journeys that traverse the globe and the inner reaches of the mind and also recreates in fine ethnographic detail the era of colonial expansion of the early years of the sixteenth century that brought East and West face to face with each other.

Reviewed by: Anjana Neira Dev
Nalini Jones

In this collection of nine short stories Nalini Jones conjures up two worlds that her predominantly Roman Catholic characters seek to explain to each other and to themselves.

Reviewed by: Christel R. Devadawson
Angelo Costa Silveira

Lived Heritage, Shared spaces is a book about courtyard houses in Goa. It is a very personal and detailed effort from an author who was born and lived in Portugal but is of Goan descent.

Reviewed by: Ramu Katakam
Elisabeth Beck

This book offers a poetic journey into the art of the Pallava dynasty, celebrating its artistic triumph in inaugurating lithic traditions in southern India. The Pallavas, as is well known, came into prominence in the late 6th century through a burst of activity recorded in inscriptions and art monuments.

Reviewed by: Preeti Bahadur
Krishen Khanna, Norbert Lynton, Gayatri Sinha, Ranjit Hoskote, Marilyn Rushton, Tanuj Berry

The book on Krishen Khanna, designed in a large format, reflects the scale of promotional activities in support of Contemporary Indian artists, one is witnessing these days. Logistically it is jointly published by a leading Indian and a leading British publisher.

Reviewed by: Ratan Parimoo
Stephen Alter

Shakespeare has proved to be not only a man for all seasons but for all countries. In India his admirers are limited not only to English literature classrooms but are found everywhere among all classes, and he has become a part of popular culture. His plays have been translated into several Indian languages and are widely staged.

Reviewed by: Satish C. Aikant
Ranjani Mazumdar

Few recent books on Indian film offer a range of analysis as extensive and insightful as Ranjani Mazumdar’s Bombay Cinema: An Archive of the City. True to its title, Bombay Cinema offers a new set of ideas and a fresh dynamic—the city—to think seriously about how and why we continue to watch popular Hindi cinema.

Reviewed by: Anupama Kapse
Ramaswamy R. Iyer

Invariably, the demand for water has increased in different sectors of the economy which has led to conflict between the sectors, between river basins, within the river basins, between states within a country and between countries.

Reviewed by: Velayutham Saravanan
Gayatri Reddy

Gayatri Reddy’s book provides an important and thought provoking ethnographic study of a community of hijras in Hyderabad. The lives of hijras has so often been spoken about in narrow terms and confined to marginalized spaces.

Reviewed by: Ratna Kapur
K.S. Subramanian

The long process of decolonization in the Indian subcontinent shortly after the end of World War II brought freedom to many Asian and African countries also generated a variety of social and political tensions in most postcolonial societies, exposing their political and administrative systems to a multitude of stresses and strains.

Reviewed by: K.S. Dhillon
Peggy Froerer

When on fieldwork in Jhabua district in Madhya Pradesh last winter, I was introduced to the local MLA, an extremely articulate RSS activist and ideologue. He was clearly the most dynamic of the local activists engaged in the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan in the area and ran a boarding school at his own expense where poor girls and boys could both study and stay.

Reviewed by: Sucheta Mahajan
Papiya Ghosh

Community and Nation consist of ten seminal essays written by Papiya Ghosh who is sadly no more with us.* Thus this review is a tribute to a distinguished scholar. Written in the course of her post-doctoral research, they have been competently put together with an introduction by Biswamoy Pati.

Reviewed by: Sudha Pai
Ramya Sreenivasan

This study of texts relating to Padmini, legendary queen of Mewar, discusses a remarkable range of material in Avadhi, Bangla, English, Rajasthani, Sanskrit and Urdu, from Jayasi’s sixteenth-century tale of love to drama and histories produced during the nationalist movement in Bengal.

Reviewed by: Niharika Gupta