Insurgency in the archives

DEAR READER, Please realize that this book will be no suitable ornament at present for Mahogany drawing tables or ivory bookshelves – no doubt its rightful place. The despoilers and oppressors of India will want to hunt it out of view. They cannot stand its fierce light. Whether, therefore, you are an Indian, or a … Continue reading

Padmaavat review – Indian drama that sparked riots is a fabulous tale of love and plunder

Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s extravagant medieval epic, which has been the subject of controversy in its home country, makes for a gloriously stirring spectacle. Loved-up royals … Padmaavat After the trial-by-fire this reimagining of a 16th-century epic verse underwent in its native India – on-set mob violence targeting director Sanjay Leela Bhansali, death threats against leading … Continue reading

Experts reach for the stars to fight slavery as satellite pictures tell all

Researchers target further breakthroughs after using space imaging to estimate number of bonded labourers in south Asia’s ‘brick belt’ A satellite picture shows smoke pouring from the chimney stack of a brick kiln in south Asia. Photograph: WorldView-2/Digital Globe/ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing It has been used to identify suspected weapons sites, monitor … Continue reading

Interview Yiyun Li: ‘Rebecca West made me weep unabashedly in an airport’ By Yiyun Li The Chinese-American author wishes she’d written Moby-Dick and read more Roald Dahl – and finds West’s This Real Night uncontrollably moving

‘All words are good words’ … Yiyun Li. Photograph: Gary Doak/Gary Doak /eyevine The book I am currently reading A Dictionary of the English Language by Samuel Johnson (with regular help from the OED and Merriam-Webster). All words are good words. I find reading a dictionary the best way to befriend them at a time … Continue reading