The Green Road into the Hills: Writing the Natural World

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In nurseries and universities, apiaries and allotments, town and theatres, woodlands and festivals, charities and campaigns—and in photography, film, music, the visual and plastic arts and throughout literature—a remarkable renaissance in green writing has been taking place. But how do you write about nature? And what is it that has led to a massive revival… Read more »

The Book of Chocolate Saints

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Award-winning poet and novelist Jeet Thayil’s intense and incandescent prose finds new voice in his latest novel, The Book of Chocolate Saints. Narrated in a variety of voices and styles, it tells the story of Newton Francis Xavier, painter, seducer, philosopher and recluse. Thayil introduces us to a host of memorable characters, including the Bombay… Read more »

Closing Debate

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The power of #MeToo has been to show the pervasiveness of work-related sexual assault and harassment. It has brought abusers into the open and shaken men out of a convenient and comfortable oblivion. The historical misconduct against women seems to be reaching a tipping point. But men too are vulnerable in the moral and social… Read more »

The Dawn Watch: Joseph Conrad in a Global World

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A visionary exploration of the life and times of Joseph Conrad, his turbulent age of globalisation and our own, from one of the most exciting young historians writing today, Maya Jasanoff, Coolidge Professor of History at Harvard. Migration, terrorism, the tensions between global capitalism and nationalism and a communications revolution: these forces shaped Conrad’s destiny… Read more »

The Craft of Political Biography: Yogi Adityanath and Mayavati

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India’s vibrant democracy has produced many unusual and charismatic leaders with fascinating life stories. Two writers of political biographies, both of leaders from India’s largest state of Uttar Pradesh, speak of their books and the larger than life cast of characters that inhabit them. Political columnist and television commentator Ajoy Bose is the author of… Read more »

The Afropolitans

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Sometimes Africa seems to make the headlines only for wars, famines and poverty. Four of the new Africa’s most exciting writers would beg to differ. Abubakar Adam Ibrahim, Chika Unigwe and Nadifa Mohamed read from their work and discuss the present and future of contemporary African literature with Abeer Y. Hoque.

Hindi Medium: Language and Elitism

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Even though Hindi is India’s ‘rashtra bhasha’, the national language, which is also one of the most spoken languages in the world, it continues be devalued and regarded with condescension in its own land. Along with English, it is the link language across a multilingual nation. Yet it is either treated with hostility as a… Read more »

Writing the Arab World

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In a famous essay written in the aftermath of 9/11, the Lebanese writer Hanan al-Shaykh described how she sat down and wept when she visited the Court of the Lions at the Alhambra. “I was overwhelmed by the sophistication of our ancestors,” she wrote an essay. “I didn’t weep because the Arabs were no longer… Read more »

Narratives of Power, Songs of Resistance

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Sujatha Gidla’s moving book, Ant Among Elephants: An Untouchable Family and the Making of Modern India, speaks of the caste-based discrimination she faced in India and her new life in America as a conductor on the New York subway. Jovan Mays, the inspirational former Poet Laureate of Aurora, Colorado, runs the youth outreach programme ‘Your… Read more »

The Silent Sentinels of Ranthambore

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The multifaceted writer, photographer and politician Bina Kak has a passion for wildlife conservation and the protection of natural animal habitats. Her latest book Silent Sentinels of Ranthambore, with its evocative photographs and spirited first hand accounts, brings alive for the reader the distinct and individual personalities of the tigers of Ranthambore and their families…. Read more »

Not The Nine O’ Clock News

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Looking behind and beyond sensationalism and screaming headlines at the real issues of our times. A thought-provoking session with eminent speakers sharing their individual views on the issues and concerns that define our times. Not the Nine O’clock News presents uninterrupted and non-combative reflections on environment, society, democracy and equity with honesty and rigour.