Engaging correspondences

American historian Audrey Truschke, the author of Aurangzeb: The Man and the Myth, was on a lecture tour in India recently. Her lecture in Hyderabad was cancelled because some protesters had threatened to disrupt proceedings. As she posted on Facebook, the Hyderabad police apparently advised the organisers

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Books by chance

A few months ago, my son mentioned that he had recently read and enjoyed Somerset Maugham’s The Razor’s Edge. Although I couldn’t recall what it was about, I was pleased that he had attempted to read Maugham, a brilliant writer believed to have been the highest paid

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The Aurangzeb story

I remember my music teacher once telling me, speaking about her daughter, “Oh, she’s a regular Aurangzeb.” Meaning, she didn’t like music, which clearly was upsetting to my teacher. Meaning, by extension, Aurangzeb disliked and discouraged music. That’s what we’ve been led to believe.

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Stories about stories

I love the Swedish writer Astrid Lindgren. She wrote primarily for children, but for many years she worked as a books editor, and was also a fearless political commentator. An official Swedish website has an article by David Wiles headlined: “Astrid Lindgren spoke, people listened.”

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The classroom in a book

Sometimes, the oddest book captures your fancy. I’m a typical case, right through school totally terrified of arithmetic and anything mathematical. Thanks to an inspiring teacher, Mrs Rajam, and a question paper in the public exam that was entirely based on common sense, I managed to do

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