75 years after Gandhiji’s killing, what his biographies reveal about his politic...

The Federal takes a peek into six best-known biographies that chronicle the story of the Father of the Nation
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Strong women are often written out of history: Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’s latest historical fiction Independence (HarperCollins India) is the story of the three Ganguly sisters, who see India through their own lens and desires, in the backdrop of India’s Independence, the Partition and the political and social upheaval. Set in a village near Kolkata, this compelling page-turner is also abo...

For Balkrishna Doshi, architecture was an instrument for the greater good

Balkrishna Vithaldas Doshi, India’s first winner of the Pritzker Prize — considered to be the architecture’s equivalent of the Nobel Prize — passed away on Tuesday at the age of 95. The architect, urbanist and educator, who has been awarded the Padma Vibhushan posthumously, leaves behind an enviable legacy that will be onerous for modern architects...

Are ‘eat-the-rich’ films like Oscar nominee ‘Triangle of Sadness’ really radical?

On the first day of the new year, the International Monetary Fund chief Kristalina Georgieva told American television network CBS that one-third of the global economy will face recession in 2023. “Even countries that are not in recession, it would feel like recession for hundreds of millions of people,” she said. Meanwhile, massive tech layoffs are...

‘The Song of the Cell’ review: Understanding life in terms of its simplest unit

Cells are not just small structures that link together to make a complex organism. In Siddhartha Mukherjee’s book, they come alive, like members of a family, some quirky, some sedate, some angry, some cooperative, some downright recalcitrant

Airbnb’s top offbeat destinations: Pimpri-Chinchwad, Vellore on list

Off-the-beaten-path destinations in India saw a spike in tourists interest in 2022, with places like Madhapur, Telangana; Rameswaram and Vellore in Tamil Nadu; Cherrapunji, Meghalaya; and Pimpri-Chinchwad, Maharashtra; being the top-trending spots, according to data released by Airbnb on Monday (January 23). International travel saw a strong rec...

TOP 5 FOR THE DAY

Faultlines

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How Indian queens across history scripted stories of valour and victory

It’s never enough to tell their stories, no matter how many times they have been told: they were told before, and will be told again. The tales of their incredible valour, resistance and sacrifice run through the veins of pre-Independent India’s history, and throb across its pages, despite attempts by the mainstream historiographers to reduce them ...

Iñárritu’s ‘Bardo’: An exploration of Mexican identity and an answer to Fellini’s ‘8½...

For someone who won the Academy Award for Best Director in two consecutive years (Birdman, The Revenant), Alejandro G. Iñárritu had his latest film, Bardo: False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths, quietly dropped on Netflix last month. Reasons? For starters, its elliptical narrative, slipping in and out of surreal sequences and verbose exchanges ste...

What has led to the great resurgence of literature from Japan

The Latin American literature boom of the 1960s and 1970s, led by Gabriel García Márquez (Colombia), Carlos Fuentes (Mexico) and Mario Vargas Llosa (Peru), changed the contours of world literature in unprecedented ways. The publication of Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967), the multi-generational saga of the Buendía family set in the fi...

How Ganesha temple built by Indian immigrants came up in Flushing, New York

A personal reminiscence of how one of the earliest Hindu temples in the US came up – it’s a history no immigrant of the 1970s can read with a dry eye

Haruki Murakami’s fictional universe is one giant fever dream

As a reader of fiction, oftentimes you yearn to travel, vicariously, to a somewhere place, a place that takes you away from the monotony of the familiar to the strangeness of the unseen and the unfamiliar. A place where the physical and the metaphysical, the mythical and the magical coalesce, unravelling worlds upon worlds. The fictional universe o...

‘Trial By Fire’ review: A humane exploration of crime and punishment

In Trial By Fire, the accomplished new Netflix show centered on the horrific Uphaar Cinema fire tragedy, each episode opens with a timestamp, mapping out the distance from the day the incident occurred. In episode two, we witness proceedings unfolding two weeks since the mishap. From thereon, the temporal width keeps expanding episodically, touchin...

What Prince Harry’s memoir ‘Spare’ tells us about the royal rift

Spare, the explosive, tell-all memoir by Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, has hogged the headlines for more reasons than one, ever since it hit the shelves on the midnight of January 10: from the sibling rivalry with his elder brother Prince William to his memories of the death of his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales; from his experiments with coc...

When Hanif Kureishi, who may not hold a pen again, held court in Jaipur

The 68-year-old British novelist and screenwriter may not be able to hold a pen or walk again after he suffered a debilitating fall in Rome on December 26, he wrote on Twitter on Saturday

Tintin turns 94: The Russian adventure files of the world’s best-known boy reporter

Tintin, the best-known boy reporter, was introduced to the world in a cartoon strip on January 10, 1929. For over nine decades, the globetrotting star of 24 books by Belgian cartoonist Georges Remi, who wrote under the pseudonym of Hergé, has defied time, language and culture. His popularity has transcended his birthplace in Brussels and reac...

‘Ranis and the Raj’ review: India’s subversive queens who fought th...

Queeny Pradhan's book is a path-breaking account of the lives of some of India’s queens who, despite their limitations, stood up to what was then the world’s most powerful and inhuman colonising force

Rs 2 Cr deal: How Ratan Tata’s biography set record in non-fiction publishing

'Ratan Tata: A Life' by Thomas Mathew will be published by HarperCollins on March 30. Harper won the keenly contested global auction in January last year; the acquisition created a record in the history of non-fiction publishing in India

Lit fest around Chennai book fair will help Tamil publishing industry: Badri Seshadri...

Badri Seshadri, who runs publishing house Kizhakku Pathippagam, comes from a corporate background; what drove him to take up Tamil publishing, with its multitude of challenges?

The Federal’s 75 books to look out for in 2023

A selection of some notable works of non-fiction and fiction you can look forward to adding to your shelves and TBR lists in the new year

Margazhi festival: 5 controversies in history of Carnatic music, Bharatanatyam

The classical art forms have been at the centre of allegations of Brahminical dominance and discrimination for long. The Federal traces five flash points in their history

Publishing trends in 2022: Four Indian trade publishers look back, and ahead

Thomas Abraham Managing Director, Hachette India The pandemic year of 2020 was a disaster for most publishers simply from the fact that we had four months of zero sales. Unlike the West where book sales grew by leaps and bound during lockdowns, we had the reverse effect because books were not allowed to be sold—not being considered essential g...

Top 10 domestic and foreign destinations Indians travelled to in 2022

Certain destinations at home and some countries close by have been the eternal favourites of Indian travellers over the years. The year 2022 was no different, say media reports. However, many are now looking beyond the obvious and exploring more exotic and faraway locations, bringing newer destinations to the most-travelled-to lists of the year. ...

Why ‘The Banshees of Inisherin’ deserves to be the best film of the year

At its core, British director Martin McDonagh’s The Banshees of Inisherin, which is leading the Golden Globe Awards with eight nominations and tipped to win big at the 2023 Academy Awards,  is a profoundly evocative tale of two former best friends — both of whom most of us ‘older folks’ will understand because we probably were one or the other at o...

The Federal’s 15 notable books (fiction) of the year 2022

1. Nireeswaran by V.J. James, translated from Malayalam by Ministhy S. (Penguin Random House India): In his third novel to be translated into English — close on the heels of his last work, Anti-Clock, which tackled the big questions of life and death — celebrated Malayalam novelist and short story writer V.J. James proposes the idea of the un-god t...

Elephant Whisperers: This documentary, up for Oscars, is a triumph of empathy

Kartiki Gonsalves’ The Elephant Whisperers, which has been shortlisted for the 95th Academy Award in the Documentary Short Film category, opens with a charming bit of narrative trickery. The setting is Tamil Nadu’s Theppakadu Elephant Camp, one of the oldest in Asia, and the man in the frame is Bomman, an inhabitant of the indigenous Kattuanayakan ...

Faultlines 2022: Top 10 cartoons that made you laugh, and think

From the reintroduction of cheetahs in the country to the clamour over 'Hindi-imposition' to climate change, here’s how N Ponnappa’s cartoons captured India’s milieu in 2022
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