The Blog of Cafe Dissensus Magazine – we DISSENT

Posts from the ‘Book Review’ category

Book Review: Five Malayali Poets Champion Erotica

By Linda Ashok
This anthology is the best permutation of scientia sexualis and ars erotica; this anthology does help us measure that erotica is beyond casual pandering to commercial sex or an ordinary arousal, it is the arousal of craft, of language, of experiences, beyond the literal.

Advertisements

Book Review: Aatish Tasee’r ‘The Way Things Were’

By Faiza Farid
Aatish Taseer’s The Way Things Were is a literary delight that reminds of Fitzgerald and Proust and Rushdie with the occasional entry of V.S Naipaul. A story that stays with the reader.

Book Review: Ayesha Jalal’s ‘The Pity of Partition: Manto’s Life, Times, and Work across the India-Pakistan Divide’

By Safia Begum
What also adds to the strength of the book are some hitherto unexplored sources like his personal unpublished letters that he received from his friends and admirers, also known as Manto Papers. No scholar has so far accessed these letters and these new archival sources offer a rare glimpse into Manto’s life and his times.

Book Review: Akhil Gupta’s ‘Red Tape: Bureaucracy, Structural Violence, and Poverty in India’

By EPM Swalih
Akhil Gupta’s study is different from other postcolonial scholars working within a western theoretical framework. He shows a unique way to engage with Euro-American theories. And that is why I began to love his work. His interrogation of the theories of governmentality, biopolitics, and sovereign ban results from his grounding in Mandi district of Western Uttar Pradesh, India. He compels us to think with the Euro-American theories only if we are able to critically approach them. I find his attempts in provincializing Europe[1] as one of the most rewarding tasks ever undertaken by the postcolonial scholars.

Book Review: ‘Between the Map and the Memory’

By Bhaswati Ghosh
Given the ongoing nature of personal histories forged by the Partition of India, re-storying seems not only a worthwhile but even a necessary exercise, if one is to make sense of the histories that stitch the lacerated subconscious of the populace scattered over India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.

Book Review: Jhumpa Lahiri’s ‘The Lowland’

By Achyut Dutt
Indian women, those days, didn’t feel sane unless they were battered in some way, even if it was by their own child. Is it perhaps universal with women everywhere? The more you treat a woman like dirt, the more she adores you and thinks you’re cool? I saw this in my own mother as a child and took full advantage of it.

Book Review: Manoj Mitta’s ‘The Fiction of Fact-Finding: Modi and Godhra’

By Abu Saleh
The book points out that from the very beginning of the investigation process, the Gujarat Government didn’t follow the standard forensic procedures that are the basic requirements in any criminal case. Mr. Nag corroborates this when he says that the burnt train was kept open and accessible to the public for many days and the forensic experts investigated it only after two months. Also, improper and inadequate record-keeping show a systematic effort to divert the investigation process.

Book Review: A.G. Noorani’s ‘The Destruction of Hyderabad’

By Safia Begum
Noorani delves into Patel’s daughter, Maniben Patel’s diary for a revealing observation. Maniben writes, “On 21st August, Patel threatened ‘to resign if army was not sent to Hyderabad’”. He also said, “I am very clear in my mind – if we have to fight – Nizam is finished. We cannot keep this ulcer in the heart of the unions.”

Book Review: Aman Sethi’s A Free Man: A True Story of Life and Death in Delhi

By Mosarrap H. Khan
Aman Sethi’s A Free Man:A True Story of Life and Death in Delhi, focused on the life of Mohammed Ashraf, is by no means a sociological work. It is a journalistic work that explores the life of one of those thousands of nameless workers who, while contributing significantly to India’s growth story, are often rendered faceless and seen as having no individual subjectivity.