The death of one of Delhi’s most cherished bookshop owners marks the end of an era: LiveMint

Kanwarjit Singh Dhingra, founder-owner of The Book Shop in the Capital, popularly known as KD, died of cancer on Wednesday. Singh was 73. He ran the book store with his wife Nini and doorman Sohan Singh. He is also survived by his three daughters, Rachna, Pia and Mallika.

Essentialism feeds specious arguments in Capital. Perpetual City breathes a time of grace and preferment: The Outlook

capitalBooks on Delhi clearly suffer in comparison with those that embrace Mumbai, such as Maximum City or Shantaram. Only Dalrymple’s City of Djinns, written with an obvious fondness for the city’s monuments but an irreverent disdain for its inhabitants, and Sam Miller’s Megacity, with its idiosyncratic approach, come to mind. Neither, though, seeks to be representative of a city, not in the sense Rana Dasgupta’s Capital claims to be ‘A Portrait of Twenty-First Century Delhi’.

Rana Dasgupta’s Delhi book tries to deconstruct Delhi’s neuroses. Manjula Lal wishes the focus was sharper: Tehelka

Rana_Dasgupta_smallA search for the soul of Delhi can only be a wild goose chase. For the very idea of our capital city having a soul would be scoffed at by those who see it only as a temporary workplace, never a “native place”. However, it does deserve to be deconstructed and understood, not just pilloried, for what it does today, Bharat will do tomorrow. Rana Dasgupta gives the city a biography it deserves, rising above journalistic eclecticism (though there’s that, too) to tease out its idiosyncracies, its pathos and its relentless materialism. He finds the reasons why so many migrant workers, refugees and government employees prolong their stay in the belief that going back to the Rest of India is like joining a losing team.

Amazon for Authors: Navigating the Road to Self-Publishing Success

Hear how Indian authors have used Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) to build and reach audiences across a variety of genres

This event is free, but registration before 13 Feb 2014 is a must.

Guest Speakers:

  • Ajay Jain, KDP author and founder of Kunzum Travel café
  • Rasana Atreya, KDP author of Tell A Thousand Lies
  • Sri Vishwanath, KDP author of books like Give Up Your Excess Baggageand The Secret of Getting Things Done

Moving between the past and the present, this is a compelling survey of Delhi’s encounter with capitalism: Mint

capitalMarch is the prettiest month,” begins Rana Dasgupta’s sprawling, discursive account of Delhi’s energetic embrace of capitalist rhythms, “bringing flawless blooms to the dour frangipanis.” As first lines go, it is pretty enough, and, despite its inversions and adjustments, the nod to the first line of T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land, is unmissable.

ShovonChowdhuryIndrajit Hazra reviews The Competent Authority by Shovon Chowdhury in The Outlook

When I started reading this, dimly aware that it’s a satirical novel, someth­ing was amiss. As signs of a comic opera on a futuristic India began to unf­old, I realised that if I swivel my brain round to read it as a work of comic science fiction, a kind of Alfred Bester minus the space-jumps and a Douglas Adams with the nerdy existentialism rep­­­­laced by dorky social realism, this was a fanatically fantastic book that uses our relationship with national news headli­nes and prime-time television as ingredients for a romp-’n-tweaked Great India Novel.

tarquin-hallFor an introduction to India’s cultural and culinary delights, you might hop a flight to Delhi or book a trip to Mumbai. But to meet the country sans passport free of airport indignities, you could just curl up with the crime novels of Tarquin Hall.

Vish Puri, Hall’s opinionated private investigator, is a 50-something Punjabi super sleuth with a fondness for family and food. The mustachioed detective cracks open India’s underbelly with a caseload that delves into forbidden love, corruption in Indian cricket and the deadly clash between science and superstition.