When fiction collides with fake news

Amitava Kumar’s new book, A Time Outside This Time (Aleph Book Company, 699), is a shape-shifting entity. Quick-witted and nimble, this odd literary beast has its ears to the ground. It slips into modes of narration that may appear radically opposed to one another but are, in fact, two sides of the same coin. Interspersed with scraps of news reports, photographs and drawings, it signals its affinity with the uncategorisable genre practised, most notably, by the German writer W.G. Sebald.

Will we sleep better in 2021?

Neha Tiwari, a 35-year-old bookstore-café owner in Pune, was already suffering from insomnia and post-traumatic stress disorder when the covid-19 pandemic broke out and her sleep routine went out of whack. “The pandemic has been rough for a lot of people, and it has definitely affected me, especially since I run a small business,” she says. “But it wasn’t too much of a difference, since I have always had trouble sleeping.”

From Godhra to Shaheen Bagh, there are many 1984s: Sarbpreet Singh

On 31 October 1984, as the Tinsukhia Mail was about to reach Kanpur station, the news of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s assassination by her Sikh bodyguards reached the passengers aboard the train. It’s not hard to imagine the consternation the rumours must have caused, but in Sarbpreet Singh’s story “The Survivor”, included in his new collection , we glimpse the human face of the tragedy vividly—first, through a haze of bitter irony, followed by a pall of horrific violence.

Sunday Lounge | Why Rohinton Mistry's fine balance matters, 25 years on

In 1995, when Rohinton Mistry published his second novel (and third book) , he had been away from India for exactly two decades, living in Toronto, Canada, since he moved there at the age of 23. In the interim, he had held a day job at a bank for 10 years, taken evening classes at the university in English and philosophy, and written a collection of short stories and one novel, which had been shortlisted for the Booker Prize.

What Shabir Ahmad Mir’s fiction tells us about Kashmir

Shabir Ahmad Mir finished editing his first novel for publication through the hard days of the covid-19 lockdown. For the writer, this period was not entirely unfamiliar. Born in Gudoora village in Kashmir’s Pulwama district, he studied at a local school, and then a college in Srinagar. Frequent curfews and internet blackouts have been par for the course for Kashmiris for decades now, and so it was for Mir. But, on 5 August last year, as the Union government revoked the special status of the re
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