It’s ridiculous to say the least, but there is always this divide between literary fiction and genre fiction, isn’t there? The literary establishment largely tends to be snooty about genre fiction – one of the reasons for which could be that genre fiction pulls in the masses, the really big money and the popularity. Read more

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It seems odd now — with Citibank boss Vikram Pandit saying that he will take a $1 salary and no bonus because of the downturn — to think of a time when go-getting stockbrokers and investment bankers would go into paroxysms of anxiety, self-doubt and depression at the news of a $400,000 bonus. Michael Lewis’s sharp and oddly prescient The Money Culture, first published in 1991, gives us a trenchant, sardonic portrait of that vanished age. Read more

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There is something fundamentally dysfunctional in me that makes me relate to cities and absorb their character as much from the literature about them as from their physical presence.

Long before I moved to Bombay in the autumn of 2005, the city had seeped into my consciousness from the fictions of Salman Rushdie, Vikram Chandra, Amit Chaudhuri and Rohinton Mistry. Shortly after I moved here, I wrote about the Bombay that I knew from books, and the one that I’d found when I arrived.  Read more

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Watching the thrilling, draining epic of an Australian Open final between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal (oh, why did Federer simply fall apart in that final set?), I thought of – no, not the Wimbledon showdown between Federer and Nadal in July last year – but that other epochal face-off that is the touchstone of greatness as far as tennis matches go for an entire generation. If you are of a certain age, you’d have got it by now: yes, Bjorn Borg versus John McEnroe in the 1980 Wimbledon final. Read more

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