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                        Siege 13 by Tamas Dobozy is the winner of the coveted 2012 Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. The book is a collection of thirteen stories that center on the siege and massacre at Bucharest in 1944. It is a quietly haunting reminder of the Soviet army’s entry into Nazi-occupied Bucharest during the ongoing Second World War. This siege went on for 46 days and it...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
  A French philosopher, author and journalist, the 1913-born Albert Camus was also known for the absurdism philosophy. Before his death in an automobile accident in 1960, Camus became the second-youngest recepient of the Nobel Prize in 1957. The youngest recepient of the Nobel Prize is Rudyard Kipling. Despite been associated with various labels during his lifetime, Camus rejected all such associations and tags.   Camus's writing career began during the Se...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
  What a thrilling adventure Alexandre Dumas (1802-1870) made out of unrequited love in that classic 19th century tale - The Count of Monte Cristo! One of the author's most popular works, this 1844 novel has its setting in France and Italy. A work that employs an immense canvas, The Count of Monte Cristo starts with a young sailor named Edmond Dantes.   Our man is on a ship, even as his beloved Mercedes awaits his return at the shore. Dantes has a turn o...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
He is a thinker, a film director, for that an intelligent one, and it comes as no surprise that most of Nolan’s films deal with the psychological. Most of you must have watched the Batman trilogy, right from Batman Begins (2005) to the searing The Dark Knight (2008) and the disappointing The Dark Knight Rises (2012). But if wanted to see just how much Nolan thinks then there is the mind-boggling Inception (2010) – A film that impresses so many film-goers be...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
Before Hemingway gained fame from the 1929 A Farewell to Arms, there was yet another novel that announced his arrival in the literary scene. Fiesta: The Sun Also Rises was a 1926 novel of understated passions, a lost generation and of Paris and Spain.   The Festival of San Fermin in Pamplona forms the background of this beautifully written novel, even as bullfighting is given a stern, macho face by the writer.The brutality if the voilence is barely mentioned, wh...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
His name was Fleming, Ian Fleming (1908-1964) and he was a British naval officer of intelligence, a journalist and a writer. Most writers begin to write a book or a set of stories about what they know and Fleming was no exception. Sometime in 1952 he wrote Casino Royale, the first James Bond novel, a product of his own life and imagination.   The first novel brought the writer a cascade of work; as he went on to pen eleven more Bond novels. The Bond books were p...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
  There is something about dying early especially among writers and poets. In an ironical turn, we are not to see them grow old ever. We do not see what they have may ultimately turned out to be. Take for example the English poet John Keats; his passing away at 26 was a tragedy, but also gave us a body of work that was romantic and unaffected by what may have turned into the bitterness of old age.   Dear bookworms, we honour today one of the greatest of th...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
E.R.Braithwaite wrote the 1959 autobiographical novel based on his experiences of teaching at a school in the East End of London. Braithwaite was, as is still mentioned - a black man and at a time when racial prejudice was still around, he instilled in supposedly 'wasted' students a sense of belonging, righteousness and self-esteem.   To Sir, With Love is a heart-warming inspiring true story that comes alive in Braithwaite' words and he was not a teacher for not...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
Vikram Seth is a 1952-born novelist and poet. He lives intermittently at two places - England and Delhi. He has been conferred with several awards including the Padma Shri, Crossword Book Award and WH Smith Literary Award. Seth has been equally lauded for his works in verse and prose. After The Golden Gate, his first book was published in 1986, a much-lauded novel in verse, he followed it up with several poetry collections. It was with the mammoth 1993 novel – A ...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
  Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay is a writer we still remember for the song he wrote - Vande Mataram. The song was originally written as a prayer in Bengali and Sanskrit. It symbolises India as a goddess and was meant to inspire Indian freedom fighters.   Chattopadhyay also wrote 13 novels and several socio-comic articles in Bengali. His works have been translated into English and many Indian regional languages. Born in Kanthalpara, Bengal, Bankim Chandra st...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
Born on July 4, 1804, Nathaniel Hawthorne was a writer of short stories and novels. The American is more famously known as a novelist though. The Scarlet Letter, his most famous work was first published in 1850. The House of the Seven Gables was published the year after. His famous short stories include Grandfather’s Chair and Tanglewood Tales.   There are few thought-provoking works of fiction than The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Set in 17th ...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
Who are the best writers? We could argue endlessly about that, but what about writers whose stories mirror what they have imbibed from life in its simplest, charming form? Of such rare dissection is Ruskin Bond. At the time of writing, he is hale and hearty at 79 and still resides at Landour, Mussoorie with his adopted family. It took Bond several years to gain popularity; he is now seen as a pioneer in paving a path for children’s writing in Indian English...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
A.J.Cronin was a Sottish physician and more popularly - a novelist. Born on 19th July 1896, Cronin was finally able to give vent to his desire to write while recovering from a ulcer in 1930. So after having written only scientific papers and prescriptions,Cronin wrote Hatter's Castle in the span of three months and the rest as they say, is history.   Many books authored by Cronin were bestsellers and subsequently translated into several languages. The features o...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
  Quite simply, there has been no one as ingenious and extraordinary as Agatha Christie when it comes to writing murder mysteries. We discuss some of Christie’s landmark works here. One of the most haunting murder mysteries Christie ever wrote was the eerie And Then There Were None. Ten people are summoned to a lonely island, and at the harrowing end of it no one survives, yet one among them is the killer…   Witness for the Prosecution is a pl...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
  On February 7th 2013, we celebrated the 201st birth anniversary of the long gone, much celebrated Charles Dickens. Back then, two centuries ago, the time was Victorian in England, a time for convention, social norms and restrained moral conduct and it was during that period that Dickens burst into the writing scene with his comic novel The Pickwick Papers in 1836. As was the practice then, novels were seralised in magazines, and the Dickens' novel was simla...
Post by: Snehith Kumbla
  He was a modern contemporary poet from England and also a novelist. In his initial publishing run, Philip Larkin (1922-1985) debuted with a book of poetry, The North Ship, which was published in 1945 and then followed it up with two novels. His first claim to fame was in 1955 with the release of The Less Deceived, his second collection of poetry. Most of his work was published during his three decade tenure (that began in 1943) at Brynmor Jones Library, Univers...
Post by: Imtiaz Ahmed
      Rabindranath Tagore is India's most famous literary figure and he does deserve the fame. Born on 7th of May 1861, Tagore passed away just six years before India's independence on 7th of August 1941. He has left behind a timeless legacy, right from poems, plays, novels, short stories, paintings, essays and songs.    The youngest of the 13 children born to Sarada Devi and Debendranath Tagore, the writer lost his mother at a young age and...
Post by: Imtiaz Ahmed
      J.G. Ballard's science fiction writings (1930 -2009) represents the new generation of writers in the genre. The British writer's major influences were war, violence and urban life. War played a major part in forming Ballard's viewpoint as a writer. Ballard experienced World War II as a child, living with his family at a temporary residence for about two years. Ballard's early works were the outcome of this brush with violence. Apocalyptic events w...
Post by: Imtiaz Ahmed
      Who could have imagined Lord Shiva the way Amish did in his record-breaking trilogy of books. Amish got there first, noticing that there was no definitive single book on the god with three matted locks on his head. He researched for the book, sourced the mythology and joined the ends. This resulted in three enthralling books - The Immortals of Meluha, The Secret of the Nagas and The Oath of the Vayuputras.   Now that film maker Karan Johar...
Post by: Imtiaz Ahmed
    Much has been said and written about the Author’s diminishing popularity in the face of television, the Internet, cinema and now the cell phone. A distinguished writer whose life has been marred with death threats and living in hiding, Salman Rushdie's prominent works have provided a new definition to the way novels can be written and should be written.   Rushdie's first novel Grimus came out in 1975, but didn't meet with much success. In 198...
Post by: Imtiaz Ahmed
Born on 18th November 1939 Canadian writer Margaret Atwood has had an illustrious writing career. Atwood is also known for her poems essays activism and her work as a literary critic. But first and foremost Atwood is a novelist. Many Atwood works are marked with a strong narrative a mix of science fiction sometimes or strains of feminism but always getting her core point across. The Handmaid's Tale was one of her first books to be honoured - it won the 1987 i...
Post by: Imtiaz Ahmed
One of the most influential 2Oth century American writers Jerome David Salinger (1919-2010) was also one of English literature's most reclusive figures. Considering that Salinger gave his last interview in 1980 and his last published work came out in 1965 the glow in Salinger's writing has lasted way beyond his living years. We can surely expect that his most popular and enduring work - The Catcher in the Rye (1951) will still be read by many generations of reade...
Post by: Imtiaz Ahmed
    Strained international relations have proved to be ample fodder for several writers to make their careers out of them. But that isn't only why John le Carre's books are widely read. The writer replicates realities in his books. His detectives are people who are aware that they are mere pawns in an intricate political system. Their work is certainly not righteous or morally correct and the protagonists are fully aware of this fact. There is less of fast pa...
Post by: Imtiaz Ahmed
    Known for his pacy thrillers and tangled plots involving the military, it is with regret we write that Tom Clancy passed away on October 1, 2013. He was 66. The American writer excelled in tales that involved elements like espionage, cold war, army tussle, Russia, and tensions between nations. His next book - Command Authority is set to appear at bookstores on December 3, 2013.    Tom Clancy was an insurance salesman when he sold his...
Post by: Imtiaz Ahmed
    Jack Kerouac, in his life of 47 years dipped in travel, writing and drinking, wrote On the Road - one iconic novel that is still read for its verve, uniqueness and freshness. All of Kerouac's books are still in print. The writer's style was one of spontaneity, a running, flowing style that lead his contemporary Truman Capote to state that it was not writing, it was scribbling.   Kerouac wrote on varied topics and the thoughts flew fluidly on paper,...
Post by: Imtiaz Ahmed
  The Man Booker Prize 2013 sprung a surprise with New Zealand writer Eleanor Catton becoming the youngest writer ever to win the prize. Catton is 28, and also the second New Zealander to win the prize. Presently based in Auckland, Catton's 832-page murder mystery The Luminaries beat five other favourites to the top spot. Indian American author Jhumpa Lahiri's The Lowland was among the books that were edged out from the shortlist.    Eleanor...
Post by: Imtiaz Ahmed
    Born on October 31, 1795, John Keats was to pass away due to tuberculosis in Rome, far away from England in 1821. He was barely 26 at the time of his death and had only been writing serious poetry for about six years. Ironically, it was only after his death that Keats' works were appreciated and over the last two centuries, his reputation as a romantic poet has only grown.   A man perpetually in love with nature, women and infused with an enduring ...
Post by: Imtiaz Ahmed
    This week on Award Thursdays, we feature British historian, art historian, curator and travel writer, William Dalrymple. He is also a co-founder and co-director of the Jaipur Literary Festival. His genres of writing span history, travel and non-fiction. His subjects or topics of interest include the religions that people follow in the Indian sub-continent, Eastern Christianity, and relations between different religious and ethnic sects. His literary works...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
    On Award Thursdays this week, we feature award-winning German children's author Cornelia Funke. She has authored The Thief Lord, Dragon Rider, When Santa Fell to Earth, Ingraine the Brave, Saving Mississippi, Ghost Knight, Reckless, Fearless, Inkheart, Inkspell, Inkdeath, Ghosthunters and the Incredibly Revolting Ghost, Ghosthunters and the Gruesome Invincible Lighting Ghost, Ghosthunters and the Totally Moldy Baroness and Ghosthunters and the Muddy Monst...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
  On Award Thursdays this week, we feature Indian historian and writer Ramachandra Guha. His books include The Unquiet Woods: Ecological Change and Peasant Resistance in the Himalaya; This Fissured Land: An Ecological History of India; Wickets in the East; Spin and Other Turns; Ecology and Equity (with Madhav Gadgil); Varieties of Environmentalism: Essays North and South (Joan Martinez-Alier); Savaging the Civilized (Verrier Elwin); An Anthropologist Among the Ma...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
   Doris Lessing was no stranger when it came to writing and experimenting with different literary themes. Exceptional and prolific, with a gift for storytelling, she was no stranger to literary accolades and honors. She won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2007. Her other awards included the Somerset Maugham Award, Prix Médicis étranger, Austrian State Prize for European Literature, Shakespeare-Preis, WH Smith Literary Award, Palermo Prize, Prem...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
     This week, we feature Indian writer Amitav Ghosh. Known for his writings that are steeped in anthropology, travel, history and good-old story-telling, he has authored some of the most interesting and eloquent literary works including The Shadow Lines, The Hungry Tide, The Glass Palace, Sea of Poppies, River of Smoke, Flood of Fire and The Calcutta Chromosome. His non-fiction works include In an Antique Land, The Imam and the Indian, Dancing i...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
     “Romance novels are birthday cake and life is often peanut butter and jelly. I think everyone should have lots of delicious romance novels lying around for those times when the peanut butter of life gets stuck to the roof of your mouth.”  - Janet Evanovich   On Award Thursdays this week, we feature American author Janet Evanovich. She is synonymous with her Stephanie Plum novels and her writings are fun...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal
     On BookChums Award Thursdays this week, we feature American writer Truman Capote. He is synonymous with his diverse literary works including In Cold Blood; Breakfast at Tiffany's; Other Voices, Other rooms; The Glass Harp; The Dogs Bark; Music for Chameleons and House of Flowers. He realized his calling as a writer at the age of eleven. He earned accolades in regard to his literary merit very early from the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. He ...
Post by: Kabita Sonowal


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