That 70s’ book
Hanif Kureishi, the London-based author of Pakistani origin, returns to what he’s best at: Portraying immigrant suburban life in London. His new, Something to Tell You, is strikingly similar to his most popular book, The Buddha of Suburbia (1990). The protagonist, Jamal, is a Freudian psychoanalyst in mid-life limbo, with a love affair that he is struggling to forget and a secret he’s trying to run away from. Through his edgy life, Kureishi paints a faithful picture of the 1970s—and the place of South Asian immigrants in England during that era.
In his new book, Rivals: How the Power Struggle Between China, India and Japan Will Shape Our Next Decade, former Economist editor Bill Emmott offers a fresh perspective to the rivalry among India, China and Japan and how the futures of these countries are related to each other by virtue of their competition for influence, markets, resources and strategic advantage. The author of the best-seller on Japan, The Sun Also Sets (1991), examines the benefits the US can get out of this rivalry.
Delhi-based architect and historian Jagan Shah compiles a collection of the best, most experimental works in the field of architecture and urban design—commercial as well as residential—in India today in this book. Shah’s introductory essay in Indian Contemporary Architecture is a brief history of architecture in India, from Le Corbusier to Hafeez Contractor. But his main focus is on young builders and designers—Anupama Kundoo, Jacob George, Rajiv Kathpalia, Stephane Paumier are some of the names featured.
The prolific Shobhaa Dé’s new book is a reflection on India’s status as an emerging superpower. Every other big author has an India book either out or on its way out, and Dé is no exception. In the 60th year of Independence, De questioned herself whether independent India’s journey has parallels with her own life. The book is a result of that questioning. While she questions the euphoria about India, she also is optimistic that “superstar India” is here to stay.
The president’s man
In July 2002, P.M. Nair was appointed secretary to President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. The Delhi-based bureaucrat gives us vignettes of the tenure of one of our most loved Presidents. Nair reasons why Rashtrapati Bhavan became a much more accessible place during this time, and why the enthusiasm for his favourite cause—a strong India shaped by its young—influenced all those who came in touch with him.