“The history of racism varies with the decades… like fashion”

Pavan K Varma

As part of a monthly conversation series organised by Open at Smoke House Deli, William Dalrymple spoke to Pavan K Varma about writing for a foreign audience, romanticising the Raj, and much else . Excerpts:

Small Things for Empathy

How literary fiction makes one more empathetic and better at reading people

Emerging Readership

Rural library initiatives take books to children who had no access to them

No Questions Please

Unsuccessful attempts at the Berlin International Book Festival to understand how the reclusive JM Coetzee’s mind works

Life of Pi Theory

Why average novels are fodder for good movies but great books fail on screen

Making Celluloid from Cellulose

The difficult and often distortive experiment of making movies of books

Flaunting the Write Look

In a world inundated with books, a female writer’s sexiness serves as a handy marketing tool. But, Annie Zaidi warns, this can prove counter-productive to a writer who wants to be taken seriously

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Readers

It seems no one wants to curl up with an Agatha Christie or dig into a Harper Lee anymore. People now read self-help books

Come One, Come All

Indian publishers are in overdrive, churning out books that offer marginal profits. But in the process, have they become glorified printers?

What’s Funny About It?

Going by Google’s idea of what constitutes humour, global dominance will elude it for a while yet.


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