Jaiwanti Dimri reviews A Box of Stolen Moments by Usha Bande. New Delhi: Lifi Publications, 2014. Rs. 160,  pp 164.

a-box-of-stolen-moments-book-84629A Book of Stolen Moments by Usha Bande is a collection of twenty one short stories that capture, or to say, click on some momentous and revealing moments in the lives of people belonging to various regions, nationalities and ethnic identities. Written in the early 1970s and 1980s, these stories were published in journals and magazines. However, the basic thematic concerns and issues addressed in these stories are still very much contemporary and contextual as they touch upon the simple yet penetrative, day-to-day realities of life in terms of the joys and pains and the twists and turns of life. Based on the ‘lived experiences, observations, reaction to and interaction with life” (Preface) by the writer’s own admission who is a fine mix of an academic scholar and creative writer, the collage of these tales unfolds the multi-faceted moods and manners of the people like the flow of the river. 

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Jeet Thayil-NarcopolisFollowing on the success of its first three creative writing workshops in India, the University of East Anglia (UEA), where the United Kingdom’s oldest and highest-ranked school of creative writing is located, is organising a fourth workshop to be held in Calcutta from 28th August to 5th September 2014.

The theme of this workshop is Exploring the boundaries between fiction and non-fiction, and it will be led by Amit Chaudhuri, award-winning author and UEA Professor of Contemporary Literature, and Booker-shortlisted novelist and poet Jeet Thayil.

Shekhar Gupta’s book is a handy compendium that illustrates a tumultuous timeline, writes Pradyot Lal

Anticipating IndiaArmed with an unpretentious style and powered by the sheer pull which political anecdote and gossip has for the great Indian middle class, Shekhar Gupta has effectively sustained his column week after week. He writes on subjects as varied as the last relics of the quota raj to the decline in the fortunes of the Indian National Congress, and has sought to position himself as an involved bystander in the world around him.

ShaminiShamini Flint began her career in law in Malaysia and also worked at Linklaters in Singapore in their capital markets and corporate insolvency practice. She traveled extensively around Asia for her work, before resigning to be a stay-at-home mum, writer, part-time lecturer and environmental activist.

Her Inspector Singh Investigates novels are published by Little, Brown and have been translated into many languages. Titles include Inspector Singh Investigates: A Most Peculiar Malaysian Murder, Inspector Singh Investigates: A Bali Conspiracy Most Foul, Inspector Singh Investigates: The Singapore School of Villainy, Inspector Singh Investigates: A Deadly Cambodian Crime Spree and Inspector Singh Investigates: A Curious Indian Cadaver. Her most recent is Inspector Singh Investigates: A Calamitous Chinese Killing (Sept 2013).  “It’s impossible not to warm to the portly, sweating, dishevelled, wheezing Inspector Singh …” – The Guardian.

Shamini also writes children’s novels. Her latest books for kids are Diary of a Track and Field Titan and Diary of a Super Swimmer published by Allen&Unwin, Australia and Puffin, India.

Kitaab presents an interview with this talented and prolific writer.

Victoria James reviews Shunga: Sex and Pleasure in Japanese Art in The Japan Times

shungaIt looks like a classic coffee-table book, a hefty hardback of more than 500 pages and almost as many color illustrations — but be careful who you ask round for coffee if you’re displaying the latest volume from the British Museum. That’s because it’s the lavish accompaniment to its new exhibition, “Shunga: Sex and Pleasure in Japanese Art.” Almost every one of those hundreds of pictures, including some in glorious, meter-long fold-out, is an example of the titular Japanese erotic art of “spring pictures,” or shunga.

Chakra_Ritu Lalit BookAnindita Borah reviews Ritu Lalit’s Chakra

In Chakra, Ritu Lalit weaves a tale so intriguing that it keeps you awake till the wee hours of morning. And ever so reluctantly that you put it down … it is the first thing that you pick up in the morning again. One look at the cover of the book and you are drawn in by the mysterious and captivating eyes. And the book surely lives up to its expectations. A touch of magic realism – mixing of the mundane with the supernatural has made it an exciting read right till the end.