By Shilpa Raina, Jaipur, Jan 28 : Why does society have a biased view about writers dealing with sex or about sexual dualities, what would end if we stop believing in our past and why freedom of expression comes at a cost were among the questions that were thrown open for debate and introspection at the Jaipur Literature Festival 2015.
Kolkata, Jan 27 : Seven books penned by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee were released at the 39th International Kolkata Book Fair, which she inaugurated Tuesday alongside British radio and television presenter and journalist Anita Anand.
By Vikas Datta: "Here richly, with ridiculous display,/The Politician's corpse was laid away/While all of his acquaintance sneered and slanged/I wept - for I had longed to see him hanged", was prolific English author Hillaire Belloc's caustic send-off to an unnamed politician.
New Delhi, Jan 25 : Prime Minister Narendra Modi's penchant for sound-bytes is not often accompanied by matching action and his very fine speeches and liberal pronouncements appear completely disconnected from any tangible action plan, adequate funding or execution capacity, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor has said in his new book.
By Vikas Datta, Jaipur, Jan 24 : Monotheism, which rose in the Middle East in the first century after Christ, was a "decisive moral and ethical" revolution that transformed the world and was almost an inevitable stage in human history. But, it did not represent a break with the classical era, say experts.
Jaipur, Jan 23 : After writing extensively on Lord Shiva, bestselling author Amish Tripathi Friday revealed his next series of books will be on Lord Ram.
Kolkata, Jan 23 : Celebrated author Ruskin Bond Friday said proximity to nature helped shape his writing, and Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore's works "convinced" him to make a writing career in India.
Kolkata, Jan 23 : Encouraging youngsters to have a good command over language, noted author Ruskin Bond Friday questioned the role of vanity publishers who charge aspirants "large sums of money" to have their books published.
By Shilpa Raina, Jaipur, Jan 23 : Indian authors have failed to create their own set of popular sleuths like Sherlock Holmes despite filmmaker Satyajit Ray giving us the iconic Bengali sleuth Feluda way back in 1965, said the bestselling thriller writer Ashwin Sanghi, who feels crime writing requires discipline and persistence to narrate a gripping tale.
New Delhi, Jan 23 : Ruskin Bonds' stories on sports, a lover's desperate attempt to woo his lady love's "terror of a father", along with tales from Goa - the IANS bookshelf offers all this and more this weekend. Take a look.
By Vikas Datta, Jaipur, Jan 23 : She achieved notoriety as the French queen who suggested her starving subjects should eat cake if they had no bread. While this story is unlikely to be true, Marie Antoinette was dragged in a raging scandal - four years before the French Revolution - that irreparably tarnished the French royalty's image, earned them the label of tyrants and was one of the factors which led to the events of 1789, said author Jonathan Beckman at a session of the Jaipur Literature Festival 2015.
Jaipur, Jan 22 : The 2015 DSC Prize for South Asian Literature has been awarded to Jhumpa Lahiri for "The Lowland", it was announced Thursday.
By Shilpa Raina, Jaipur, Jan 22 : The beauty of the past lies in finding the truth that is buried deep in some unknown corners of the memory. Reclaiming it is a tedious process, but this is what Urdu critic and novelist Shamsur Rahman Faruqi has done in the remarkable novel "The Mirror of Beauty" that recreates the era of the late 19th century, with Wazir Khanam as the protagonist.
By Vikas Datta, Jaipur, Jan 22 : They were among the best known Urdu poets of their day, and though their life trajectories unfolded differently, both cultural activist Salima Hashmi's father Faiz Ahmed Faiz and actress Shabana Azmi's father Kaifi Azmi had some important things in common - belief in poetry as an instrument of social change, hope for the future and refusal to peddle hatred.
By Vikas Datta, Jaipur, Jan 21 : China's Dowager Empress Cixi has been long reviled as a despotic ruler who rose to power by harem intrigue, but it was she who transformed a medieval country into a modern nation, gave rights to citizens especially women and opened and facilitated China's engagement with the world for its own benefit, says a Chinese author.
By Vikas Datta, Jaipur, Jan 21 : Nearly a century of tragedy and instability seen in the Middle East could have been avoided or at least mitigated if the promises made to the leaders of the Arab Revolt during World War I had been honoured instead of dividing the region into "artificial nations", said a biographer of Lawrence of Arabia.
By Shilpa Raina, Jaipur, Jan 20 : Every year, the annual literary pilgrimage Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) offers a fine balance among different writing genres that peacefully co-exist and give the audience an opportunity to deliberate on issues that usually don't find mention in everyday conversations. This year is no different, with the stage set here to host intellectual minds at the festival beginning Jan 21.
By Vikas Datta : The British were by no means the first travel writers, being beaten by various Greek and Arab scholars, Chinese and Japanese Buddhist monks and Venetian merchants. But they were arguably the first to begin travel for pleasure or even as a challenge! Thus it was apt that Jules Verne chose an Englishman as the hero of "Around the World in Eighty Days" and following Phileas Fogg's footsteps - and going far ahead - is British actor Michael Palin who fashioned a second successful career as a TV traveller and author.
Chennai, Jan 17 : Bollywood 'Baadshah' Shah Rukh Khan, who will be seen in the title role in upcoming graphic novel "Atharva - The Origin", instantly agreed to be part of the project and that too with a lot of enthusiasm, says its author Ramesh Thamilmani.
Kolkata, Jan 16 : The 39th International Kolkata Book Fair, that begins Jan 28, is set to go green, courtesy kiosks stacking up on innovative jute products to spread the message.
New Delhi, Jan 16 : Publisher Roli Books, set to release Congress president Sonia Gandhi's biography, said Friday said the book was never banned in India but its Spanish publisher had found "the atmosphere was not right" to publish it in 2008.
New Delhi : With Delhi all geared up to host India's first Crime Writers Festival Jan 17-18, IANS picked up some new and some old writers who have delved into the world of thrills and chills. Take a look.
By Shilpa Raina and Shweta Sharma, New Delhi, Jan 11 : Rajan Iqbal, a bookseller at the New Delhi Railway Station, vividly remembers "those days" when Hindi pulp fiction books were his stall's bestsellers. Today, he struggles to sell even a single copy in a day and blames the internet for "killing the reading habit and diminishing the business of pocket books".
By Gunja, New Delhi, Jan 11 : There is "not much of a literary scene in Pakistan and the infrastructure is underdeveloped with only a handful of English publishers", says author Bilal Tanweer, adding that a few in the Urdu press are doing excellent work but they need more help.
By Vikas Datta, Jan 11: Some of the most memorable, enduring literature has been inspired by history's bloodiest eras - the French Revolution, trench warfare in World War I, the Spanish Civil War, the Nazi killings, the partition of India and its dangerous dislocations, the Cambodian and the Rwandan genocides and so on.
New Delhi : Khushwant Singh's quest to decipher God's existence, questioning everyday science, what makes a successful entrepreneur tick and a collection of stories about the darkest years in Sri Lankan history. This is how the IANS bookshelf is stacked this weekend. Take a look.
By Vikas Datta : Title - Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow, My Life ; Author - Sophia Loren; Publisher - Simon and Schuster UK; Pages - 352; Special Indian price - Rs.699
3 Jan: Why does US President Barack Obama lose sleep over Pakistan? Is it because of the possibility that one day some angry general may not give in to the temptation of knocking more than a few heads and decide to hand over one or more of the bombs to a Mullah Omar or a Haqqani, asks veteran diplomat Rajiv Dogra in his new book: "Where Borders Bleed: An Insider's Account of Indo-Pakistan Relations (Rupa/296 pp/Rs.360)
New Delhi : A leading editor of a prominent Indian magazine admits he is almost computer-illiterate; another senior journalist takes readers through the notes of his "election diary" and then there are some thrillers. A lot to choose from the IANS New Year's book list. Take a look.