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Bookless in Baghdad : Reflections on Writing and Writers
Supremely personal, yet always probing and analytical, this brilliant collection of essays is part memoir, part literary criticism. A fluid and powerful writer, one of the best in a generation of Indian authors (New York Times Book Review), Shashi Tharoor, the acclaimed author of six books is once again at his provocative best. In the title piece, we learn what Iraqis go through in their beleaguered land merely to get hold of a book, and how selling books from their own libraries on the street helps some put bread on the table. Tharoor reminisces about growing up with books in India and discusses the importance of the Mahabharata in Indian life and history. There is also a poignant homage to Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, whose home was raided by the oppressive military regime while he lay on his deathbed, and who famously said: There is only one thing of danger for you here-my poetry! Pondering world affairs, Tharoor declares that the defining features of today's world are the relentless forces of globalization-the same forces used by the terrorists in their macabre dance of death and destruction. Tharoor's astute views on Salman Rushdie, India's love for P. G.Wodehouse, Rudyard Kipling, Aleksandr Pushkin, John le Carr?, V. S. Naipaul, and Winston Churchill make for fascinating reading. His insightful takes on Hollywood and Bollywood will intrigue even the most demanding cinephile. Together, these 39 pieces reveal the inner workings of one of today's most eclectic writers.
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October 10, 2011
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