Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Popular History’ Category


Dom Moraes: Selected Poems
Ed. by Ranjit Hoskote | Penguin Modern ClassicsRs 499

In the introduction to the first-ever editorial selection of Dom Moraes poems, Ranjit Hoskote proposes a new reading of Moraes’ career as journalist, anthologist and editor, regarding him as an early but unrecognized trans-cultural artist. Hoskote emphasizes the less familiar Moraes, the non Romantic, who offered fierce testimony to the 20th century dramas of betrayal, slaughter and heroism as in this poem titled “Typed With One Finger”:

“Travel with me on the long road
into loneliness, where the hours
offer pardons to those still afraid.
Bursts of white and blue flowers
will surprise you in summer, with
denials of what is called death.”

*

Bring Up The Bodies
Hilary Mantel | Fourth Estate | Rs 399

In her sequel to masterful Wolff Hall, for which she received the Man Booker Prize in 2009, Mantel takes a hard look at Thomas Cromwell, Secretary to King Henry VIII. In her telling Cromwell’s fortunes were closely tied with King’s second wife, Ann Boleyn, Queen of England (1533-36) who was subsequently beheaded. In Mantel’s controversial re-telling of the story, many of the events that led to English Reformation were instigated or manipulated by Cromwell. “I am not claiming authority for my version; I am making the reader a proposal, an offer,” says Mantel adding that Cromwell is “still in need of attention from biographers.”

(An edited version of the above reviews appeared on Saturday edition of the Mail Today, New Delhi, dated 7 & 14 July 2012)

Read Full Post »


Intermission
Nirupama Subramanian | Harper Collins | Rs 250

There was a time when Indians working in the US did not dream of returning home. That is not true anymore. At least not of the engineers and techies that are returning in droves and setting up shop in Bangalore and Gurgaon. Why this shift? Subramanian offers no insights. Instead she uses both these places as a backdrop to spin a story on an extra marital affair between a CEO of a start-up company and a Punjabi beauty. Life is so difficult, she moans, when her maid runs away with a driver. If only the garbage, the poverty, the potholes and the pigs would disappear…

*

The Columbus Affair
Steve Berry | Hodder | Rs 395

“For 500 years historians have pondered the question: Who was Christopher Columbus? The answer is simply another question: Who do you want him to be?” This is how Steve Berry, the bestselling author of The Jefferson Key, introduces us to his version of Columbus. Combining legends, facts and creative fiction, Berry takes the reader on a thrilling adventure that spans Europe, America, Jamaica and South America to reconstruct the story of the Spaniard that has captured the imagination of several generations of conspiracy theorists. You may buy his story, or you may not. The thrill is in how you read it.

*

Sachin: A Hundred Hundreds Now
V Krishnaswamy | Harper Sport | Rs 250

On 16 March 2012 at Mirpur in Dhaka (Bangladesh) after opening the innings for India, Sachin nudged the ball to behind the square leg in the 44th over to cross the final barrier: a hundred centuries in international cricket. In this account of the master batsman’s incredible journey, sportswriter V Krishnaswamy takes us through every hundred, every peak scaled on Sachin’s way to the top.  Along the way he also looks at two other sportsmen, Viswanathan Anand and Leander Paes, to understand the sporting world in which Sachin flourished. The book includes introduction by Rahul Dravid and Sachin’s coach Ramakant Achrekar.

(An edited version of the above reviews appeared in the Sunday edition of Mail Today, New Delhi, dated 17 June 2012)

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »