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  • Natasha Brown’s 'Assembly': a small shockwave of a novel Jul 17, 2021 08:32 AM IST

    Natasha Brown’s 'Assembly': a small shockwave of a novel

    This short, powerful debut explores the world of a character facing issues of race and class in Britain today.

  • Does reading fiction make you a better person? Jul 10, 2021 08:56 AM IST

    Does reading fiction make you a better person?

    Several studies have shown that reading novels and short stories makes people more empathetic. Are they right in coming to such conclusions?

  • Using fiction to foretell the future Jul 03, 2021 05:26 AM IST

    Using fiction to foretell the future

    Recently, a group of German scholars set out to predict conflicts by analysing works of literature. Are novelists our modern-day prophets?

  • The art and craft of political slogans Jun 19, 2021 07:48 AM IST

    The art and craft of political slogans

    From “Build Back Better” to “Abki Baar Modi Sarkar”, good, bad, and compelling political slogans have become an integral part of every election campaign.

  • Slumdog millionaire with teeth Jun 12, 2021 07:27 AM IST

    Slumdog millionaire with teeth

    Rahul Raina’s debut novel, How to Kidnap the Rich, is a biting satire that deals with the all-pervasive Indian realities of inequality, caste, class and corruption.

  • Listening to a writer’s voice Jun 05, 2021 06:55 AM IST

    Listening to a writer’s voice

    Plot and character are all very well, but it’s a novelist’s unique voice on the page that can make the difference between a memorable work of fiction and an ordinary one.

  • Murder and mayhem in Mumbai May 29, 2021 07:48 AM IST

    Murder and mayhem in Mumbai

    Two new works of crime fiction set in the past continue the tradition of authors using Mumbai as a backdrop for novels of wrongdoing and suspense.

  • The art of not writing May 07, 2021 09:51 PM IST

    The art of not writing

    Over two million books are published every year, not to mention countless essays, opinion pieces, and other articles. Here’s how to stop adding to the torrent.

  • How Jhumpa Lahiri’s new novel is like Edward Hopper’s paintings  May 01, 2021 06:05 AM IST

    How Jhumpa Lahiri’s new novel is like Edward Hopper’s paintings 

    The author’s 'Whereabouts' deals with incidents in the life of a professor in Rome and is shot through with solitude, detachment, and a sense of individuals in the shadows of their pasts.

  • If reading isn’t a pleasure, why bother? Apr 24, 2021 07:07 AM IST

    If reading isn’t a pleasure, why bother?

    Antonia Fraser’s 'The Pleasure of Reading' is a welcome respite at a time when concentrating on a book is next to impossible.

  • Does korrect speling matter? Apr 17, 2021 09:09 AM IST

    Does korrect speling matter?

    British universities are being told not to deduct marks for spelling mistakes and only judge students on ideas and knowledge of the subject. Is the ability to spell important?

  • Two French novels on the effects of colonialism Apr 10, 2021 12:06 PM IST

    Two French novels on the effects of colonialism

    New works in English translation by Joseph Andras and Kamel Daoud offer vivid and contrasting accounts of the impact of foreign domination.

  • Reviewing readers instead of books Apr 03, 2021 07:35 AM IST

    Reviewing readers instead of books

    In today’s age, everyone’s a critic. It’s time to turn the tables and review not just books, but also the way people read them

  • Murder Most Cosy Mar 27, 2021 09:10 AM IST

    Murder Most Cosy

    How did a 50-year-old debut author’s crime novel beat Obama’s memoir on the bestseller lists and sell close to a million copies in hardback, with film rights bought by Spielberg?

  • Uniqlo-Murakami tie-up: Some enticing brand extension possibilities for novelists Mar 06, 2021 08:27 AM IST

    Uniqlo-Murakami tie-up: Some enticing brand extension possibilities for novelists

    Now that Uniqlo is about to launch a line of T-shirts inspired by Haruki Murakami, here’s a way for other novelists to cash in, too.

  • The use and abuse of the thesaurus Feb 27, 2021 09:33 AM IST

    The use and abuse of the thesaurus

    The compendium of words that Peter Mark Roget compiled over 150 years ago has many fans, and quite a few critics, too.

  • Existential threats are everywhere nowadays Feb 20, 2021 09:31 AM IST

    Existential threats are everywhere nowadays

    The word 'existential' once referred to a school of philosophy. How did it come to stand for things that threaten our way of life?

  • The Hooghly and the World Jan 30, 2021 08:27 AM IST

    The Hooghly and the World

    An absorbing new book shines a light on the time when the Hooghly was a global waterway attracting merchants, missionaries, statesmen, soldiers and others from all over.

  • Caution: Reading books may expose you to different points of view Jan 23, 2021 07:28 AM IST

    Caution: Reading books may expose you to different points of view

    Kafka once said that a book must be an ice axe for the frozen sea within us. Here’s a tongue-in-cheek look at how disclaimers could blunt that statement.

  • Turning authors into adjectives Jan 16, 2021 07:33 AM IST

    Turning authors into adjectives

    In decades to come, maybe contemporary authors will be turned into adjectives, too. Sethian could mean anything redolent of 1950s India; Rooneyesque could refer to millennial angst.

  • Is marketing jargon just 'garbage language'? Dec 05, 2020 07:56 AM IST

    Is marketing jargon just 'garbage language'?

    Nowadays, some use jargon to bestow a sheen of importance and specialisation upon their work. If you’re a consultant, chances are you’ve sprinkled your presentations with verbiage such as “purpose-driven storytelling”, “blue sky thinking”, and, of course, “low-hanging fruit”.

  • Books I’m not looking forward to in 2021 Nov 28, 2020 12:26 PM IST

    Books I’m not looking forward to in 2021

    Of the several exciting titles that 2021 has in store, there are some that I resolutely plan to avoid. Here, in no particular order, are the gory details.

  • Can bookshops survive the pandemic? Nov 21, 2020 07:48 AM IST

    Can bookshops survive the pandemic?

    The point is not for readers to wait until the situation is dire, but to recognise the worth of these literary outposts and visit as often as possible.

  • Why do writers like Bill Bryson and others stop writing? Nov 07, 2020 09:26 AM IST

    Why do writers like Bill Bryson and others stop writing?

    Some novelists feel that they’ve simply run out of things to say.

  • The joys of reading books about books Oct 24, 2020 09:20 AM IST

    The joys of reading books about books

    Reading books about books will bring back to us what it’s like to be lost in a book. Two new books by Michiko Kakutani and Cathy Rentzenbrink are also not an exception.

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