Damiani Editore, an Italian publishing house for art books, has documented the new wave of contemporary Indian art with this book, New Delhi New Wave. Written in French and English (by Jerome Neutres and Radhika Jha), it documents the works of 14 Indian artists and describes how they have heralded a new aesthetic in Indian art, reminiscent of the New York new wave of the 1980s. Some of the artists featured, all of whom have had solo shows in Europe and other parts of the world, are Anita Dube, Shilpa Gupta, Subodh Gupta, Bharti Kher, N. Pushpamala, A. Balasubramaniam, Tejal Shah, Tukral & Tagra and others. New Delhi New Wave is worthy of your collection because of its excellent production value and because it’s one of the first comprehensive group portraits of Indian artists of our time.
Love’s labour lost
The Peruvian novelist Mario Vargas Llosa is known less for his engagement with society than with the growth and transformation of human beings. In his new, Bad Girl, much like his best known works, Conversation in the Cathedral (1969) and Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter (1977), he turns inward, into the anguish of a dejected lover, Ricardo Somocurcio, who spends a lifetime worshipping “the bad girl”. He meets her in various circumstances, in different places such as Chile and Paris, in different avatars—always beguiling, charming and cruel. For fans of Llosa, this might be a major book of 2008.
Out of the box
This collection of essays bring out the history, evolution and different types of alternative schools in India. Bangalore-based educationists Sarojini Vittachi and Neeraja Raghavan have compiled essays and personal accounts by teachers, students, researchers and artists who offer their own perspectives to alternative education. All of the writing in Alternative Schooling in India is from a benefactor’s point of view and there’s little in the book from a mainstream perspective. J. Krinamurti’s education model, regarded as the father of alternative education in India, take up many chapters, and the back of the book is devoted to a directory of schools all over India.
Mumbai by the streets
Another Mumbai book, more clichés. Columnist Bachi Karkaria could have done far better than spin words that appear to say something new about Mumbai, but really, they don’t: “Bombay’s edge is also its acronym. It invokes envy and desirability in outsiders, and provokes greed and extravagance in those who have seized it as their home.” It is meant to be a fun take on the city’s streets and institutions, after a surfeit of all kinds of books, and the illustrations and designs by Krsna Mehta make it exactly that. He juxtaposes images by various photographers with those of typical Mumbai totems and icons such as dabbawalas, Ganpati statues and BEST bus tickets to make it a riot of colours and images. With the striking cover, the coffee-table book is more of ornamental value to your drawing room than something to be treasured in your collection.
Sydney-based researcher and analyst Amber Ahuja spoke to 10 Indian achievers—including N.R. Narayana Murthy, Vishwanathan Anand, Sunil Gavaskar and J.J. Valaya—and based on what they said, wrote this manual for right career choices. Be Inspired takes into account seven elements that determine a person’s professional achievement index—goals, motivation, aptitude, personality, attitude, skills and O factors—and relates it to the kind of industry or professional field in which each matter the most. Most of it presented in graphs and charts typical of a manual. The interesting, unexpected bits are in the first person accounts of the achievers. Anand, for example, reveals how his love for music helped him achieve greatness in chess.