New Delhi: The year 2011 saw a lot on the writing front but prominent writers like Aravind Adiga, Tabish Khair and Manu Joseph, who were also reading a lot. "I've enjoyed "The Essential Tagore," an anthology published by the Harvard University Press, which has selections from Tagore's essays, poems, and plays. The novelist Amit Chaudhuri has written an excellent preface to this book," says Adiga.
The 2008 Booker prize winner told PTI, " I've also enjoyed reading Girish Karnad's Memoirs. In a series of autobiographical essays, Karnad tells the story of how he absorbed influences from traditional Indian theatre and Western literature to develop into a modern Indian playwright. The book is currently available only in Kannada, and I hope that the author translates it into English soon."
Asked to name his three best reads in 2001, poet-novelist Tabish Khair says, "It is difficult to choose just three, as there were excellent new novels by Amitav Ghosh, Patrick DeWitt, Anuradha Roy and Rahul Bhattacharya, and a brilliant collection of stories by Anita Desai, as well as very good translations of fiction by M S Madhavan, Roberto Bolano and Banaphool in 2011.
"But if forced, I would pick Julian Barnes' novel, 'The Sense of An Ending', Terry Eagleton's necessary polemics in 'Why Marx Was Right', and Charles Taylor's collection of perceptive and lucid philosophical essays in 'Dilemmas and Connection.'
Journalist-writer Manu Joseph's top three reads were "Sense of an Ending" by Julian Barnes, "Death in Mumbai" by Meenal Baghel and "Gods Without Men" by Hari Kunzru while thriller fiction writer Ashwin Sanghi liked "The Exclusive Biography" of Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson, "The Emperor Of All Maladies: A Biography Of Cancer" by Siddhartha Mukherjee and "Lucknow Boy: A Memoir" by Vinod Mehta the most.
London-based Indian writer Kishwar Desai, who in January won UK's prestigious Costa First Novel Award 2010 for her book "Witness by Night" also "read a lot of books but the top three are 'The Wandering Falcon' (Jamil Ahmad), 'The Rediscovery of India' (Meghnad Desai) and 'My Animal Life' (Maggie Gee)". And the top three books of German author Roswitha Joshi, who has made India her second home, were "Dreams from my father" (Barack Obama), "Sunset Club" (Khushwant Singh) and "Calcutta Exile" (Bunny Suraiya).
According to Delhi booksellers Bahri Sons, the top three books in the fiction category were "River of Smoke" by Amitav Ghosh, "Empire of the Mughals: Ruler of the World" by Alex Rutherford and "The Sunset Club" while in the non-fiction section had "Makers of Modern India" (Ramachandra Guha), "The Emperor of All Maladies" and "Tinderbox: The Past and Future of Pakistan" (M J Akbar).