Thursday, May 01, 2008

The Middle Stage in Australia

As there is nothing that this blog reveres more than the book — that box of carefully chosen words that speaks in such a distinctive and unforgettable voice when opened, often for centuries, millennia, after the life that birthed those words, the voice behind that voice, has been snuffed out — I am very pleased, and proud, to announce that something that was first published here last year appears today in a book.

My Books Interview with Christopher Kremmer, whose sprawling account of India Inhaling the Mahatma I thought an exceptionally rich work, appears this month as a back-of-the-book extra in the new Australian paperback edition of Inhaling the Mahatma.

The new edition also reproduces in full my review of the book, which was coincidentally the first-ever review I wrote for Mint.


Unmana said...


Eric Forbes said...

Dear Chandra:

I simply enjoy reading your blog and your wonderful book reviews and interviews with authors.

Your reverence for books is amazing; a passion I can relate to.

I thoroughly enjoyed your review of Ma Jian's new novel, Beijing Coma. I wonder whether translated fiction is eligible for the Man Booker Prize?

I edit a quarterly book magazine in Kuala Lumpur and I welcome your contributions with open arms.

My email address is or

All the best
Eric Forbes

Chandrahas said...

Eric - Thank you for your many kind words.

I've had occasion to take a look at your website before, and I've often read pieces on it (such as the interview with Kunal Basu, some of whose stories I admired very much). I'm sure I could do something for your magazine at some point.

I don't think translated fiction is eligible for the Booker, because that would mean that the judgment is based partly on the quality of the translation. Although this proviso leaves a lot of good books out, I think that it is in the end a sensible one.