Tag Archives: Borders

A Tribute to Amitav Ghosh’s ‘The Shadow Lines’: The mirage of borders

There have been many moments in India’s history when it felt as if the country was coming undone. “It was deeply deranging, but you must also remember that India of the 1980s was an explosive place. It really felt like it was coming undone,” novelist Amitav Ghosh had said to mark the 25th year of the publication of his novel, The Shadow Lines.  Dr. Nazia Hasan pays a tribute to Ghosh and his seminal work of fiction in this special essay.

Amitav Ghosh

Amitav Ghosh

This day break, pockmarked- this morning, night bitten
Surely, this is not the morning we’d longed for,
In whose eager quest, all comrades
Had set out, hoping that somewhere
In the wilderness of the sky
Would emerge the ultimate destination of stars,
…somewhere will anchor the boat of heart’s grief.

(Faiz Ahmad Faiz, The morning of Freedom: August 1947)

Partition of India has been one of those turning points in the history of the subcontinent, the repercussions of which have not ended yet. It lives in memories, in monuments, in songs and stories, besides popping up now and then in various symbols, occasions and rituals. It makes the Katha and Daastaan for the coming generations for centuries perhaps, because it has everything aplenty: the joys and the sorrows (more sorrows than joys, of course for the common man) associated with it can weave sagas of its own. Amitav Ghosh in most of his novels like The Circle of Reason (1986), The Shadow Lines (1988) and The Hungry Tide (2004) takes up the theme of the Partition in its differing aspects. He looks at it from the middle class quarters in The Shadow Lines, the anonymous sufferers’ side in The Circle of Reason and the low-caste section in The Hungry Tide. Perhaps, John Berger had the same idea when he wrote; “Never again a story will be told as though it is the only one…” (Ways of Seeing: 1990). Read more

Borders bookstore to re-open in Singapore: report

Book retailer Popular Holdings is bringing Borders back to Singapore.

Popular CEO Chou Cheng Ngok announced Wednesday morning the company acquired the Borders brand for Singapore last year.

The new Borders store would open in Jurong by the end of the year.

Mr Chou also confirmed that the company will be closing its lifestyle concept bookstore Prologue in ION Orchard on 25 August.

Borders closed its flagship store in Wheelock Place in August 2011, and its Singapore outlet in Parkway Parade shut its doors the following month.

Read More at CNA

How to save our bookstores

Libraries and bookstores are the intellectual lungs of a city. You can’t imagine a city without bookstores and museums, the repositories of art and artifacts. In the past, whenever looters and marauders attacked a city, the savages would ransack these very places where valuables (ideas; arts) remained stored. The Al Qaeda (rebels in Mali) still do it as we saw in Timbuktu.

Yet, the very existence of these suppliers of art is under threat due to the successful arrival of digital bookstores and book distributors like Amazon.com. The result is that the whole traditional ecosystem of the publishing business has been rattled.

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