Weekly news

Events: 

Delhi: 7th November, Himal Lecture 2014: ‘Between the People and the Polis’ by Arif Hasan at the India International Centre.

Excerpts available:

An excerpt of Avtar Singh’s Necropolis  is available here. I just received a review copy of this book, and have worked with Avtar (he is associated with the lovely Indian Quarterly magazine, where my work on Kathmandu street art has been published) so I’m particularly excited about this one. I just hope his novel’s similarity to Jeet Thayil’s award-winning Narcopolis doesn’t cause any confusion!

What I’m reading this week:

‘Logframe of Life’, by Usuru, on La.Lit. A foreigner’s take on expat life in Nepal, featured in the Nepali literary magazine.

‘Narcissistic Gloss’, by Prawin Adhikari, in La.Lit. On a recent Nepali film, Himmatwali.

‘India Court Says Ban on Female Make-up Artists is Illegal’, on BBC news. My WTF moment of the day.

Alice Albinia review’s Mirza Waheed’s new book ‘The Book of Gold Leaves’. I loved his previous novel, The Collaborator, but I think I read it pre-blogging days so don’t have a review.

Blogs:

I have discovered the excellent blog ‘Travelling in the Homeland‘, an Indian literary blog, that does a weekly round-up of the sort I aspire to. Why aspire, and not do? I don’t have as much time for South Asian literature as I once did–my primary job now is academic editing, and I rarely deal with anything South Asian-related in that work. My continuing link to the region lies with my editorial work for Himal Southasian, and my inability to concentrate on any literature that isn’t based in the area. BUT, it is good to aspire, and my blog is a little different in that I take a whole of South Asia approach (hey, I was partially schooled by Himal!) rather than an India focus.

Weekly news

News:

DSC Prize for South Asian literature long-list announced. I’m disappointed that some big-name authors (of varying levels of mediocre) books have been included, as these threaten to overshadow the work of other lesser-known but very good authors. What I have liked about the DSC Prize in the past few years is its inclusion of a very wide variety of South Asian literature, from writing on South Asia by non-South Asian authors, as well as authors from and based in South Asia itself, originally written in English as well as translated into English. This is still evident in this long-list, but I hope the short-list is more discerning. And, now in its fifth year, I think it’s about time the top prize went to a woman, as it hasn’t yet, and South Asia is hardly short of female literary talent. Here’s the list.

And the Mountains Echoed, by Khaled Hosseini (read my review here)

The Lowland, by Jhumpa Lahiri (read my review here)

Helium, by Jaspreet Singh (review forthcoming)

The Gypsy Goddess, by Meena Kandasamy

Mad Girl’s Love Song, by Rukmini Bhaya Nair

The Mirror of Beauty, by Shamsur Rahman Faruqi (review forthcoming)

The Scatter Here is Too Great, by Bilal Tanweer

A God in Every Stone, by Kamila Shamsie (regular readers will know how I feel about Shamsie’s work, and this novel is no different as far as I’m concerned! I have reviewed it, along with Fatima Bhutto and Uzma Aslam Khan, in the latest issue of Himal Southasian)

The Prisoner, by Omar Shahid Hamid

Noontide Toll, by Romesh Gunesekara

Call for papers:

South Asian Popular Culture journal, special issue on ‘Graphic Novels & Visual Cultures in South Asia’.

Articles I’m reading this week:

Report: Panel discussion on “Conflict and Literature” held in India’, by Jaya Bhattacharji Rose, on Kitaab.

In the end, Pakistan champion Muhammad Iqbal had doubts about the Two-Nation theory’ excerpt from new book by Zafar Anjum on Iqbal, on Scroll.in.

Sufism: “a natural antidote to fanaticism”’ by Jason Webster, on the republication of an Idries Shah book about Sufism, on The Guardian.

Time for Peace’ by Salman Rashid, on the Asian Review of Books.

Events:

Mumbai: Tata Literature Live Festival begins this Thursday, 30th October.

Boston, New York, Austin, Houston, Los Angeles, Palo Alto, San Francisco: throughout November (starting on the 1st) Pakistani film Zinda Bhaag will be touring US universities, followed by q&a sessions.

News

I’ll be starting a weekly news round-up: new books and recommended articles on South Asian literature will be posted on Tuesdays; upcoming events will be posted on Thursdays. If you’d like me to feature/consider your announcement, send me a message via the comments, or email me at elen dot turner at gmail dot com.

Forthcoming book:

Iqbal: The Life of a Poet, Philosopher and Politician, by Zafar Anjum. Random House India, October 2014.

Articles I’ve been reading this week:

On Shashi Tharoor’s The Great Indian Novel on the BBC website.