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The world of literature in 2017

Posted On : December 31 2017

The winners:

This year the Swedish Academy chose Kazuo Ishiguro for the Nobel Prize for Literature, choosing for his novels which uncover 'the abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with the world'.  

His books…

·         Never Let Me Go

·         Remains of the Day

·         When We Were Orphans

·         The Buried Giant

·         The Unconsoled

The Man Booker Award-for the second consecutive year-went to an American with George Saunders winning for his first novel, depicting a great American President, who had a strange relation with death (including several premonitions of his own). Set one night in a cemetery, 'Lincoln in the Bardo' takes Abraham Lincoln to a strange afterlife where the soul of his young son, who has just died, has gone.

His other books...

·         Lincoln in the Bardo

·         Tenth of December

·         Pastoralia

·         Civil War Land in Bad Decline

·         In Persuasion Nation

Among many others...

The popular ones:


·         John Le Carre's 'A Legacy of Spies', which revisits his epic 'The Spy Who Came in From the Cold' (1963) to provide both a prequel and sequel to this bleak tale

·         'Men without Women', a short story collection from Haruki Murakami in his usual disturbingly existentialist form

·         Hanif Kureshi's 'The Nothing' about an 80-year-old, wheel-chair bound, sex-addicted but impotent man who once hung out with the Who's who, but now can't stop a philanderer in his own house

·         'Uncommon Type' by Hollywood star Tom Hanks added a new role to his repertoire with his unique collection of short stories featuring typewriters in some way

·         Karachi policeman Omar Shahid Hamid penned another evocative account of the interplay of high politics and crime in Pakistan's biggest city in 'The Party Worker'

·         'The Collected Stories of Homen Borgohain' pays tribute to a doyen among Assamese writers and a much-needed look into a region which is yet to get its due.

·         Anuja Chandramouli established a record with three books: 'Kartikeya: The Destroyer's Son', 'Prithviraj Chauhan: The Emperor of Hearts' and 'Rani Padmavati: The Burning Queen' supplemented her 'Yama's Lieutenant and the Stone Witch'

Deserving mentions:


·         Himanjali Sarkar's 'Mrs C Remembers' on ravages of mental illness

·         Shirish Thorat's enthralling 'Ticket to Syria' about radicalism destroying a Maldivian family

·         Zarreen Khan's 'I Quit! Now What?' about the travails of the modern Indian working woman

·         Manu Joseph's 'Miss Laila Armed and Dangerous', a savage satirical retelling of the Ishrat Jahan case, sparing no section

·         2017 marked the 200th death anniversary of Jane Austen, 'Austenistan' (edited by Laaleen Sukhera) shows how Jane Austen's spirit can flourish in contemporary Pakistan


The year bid adieu to…


·         Novelist, art critic and poet John Berger (Jan 2)

·         ‘The Exorcist’ author William Peter Blatty (Jan 12)

·         Nobel-winning St Lucian poet Derek Walcott (March 17)

·         Colin Dexter, the creator of ‘Inspector Morse’ (March 21)

·         Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko (April 1)

·         Robert M. Pirsig, of ‘Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance’(April 24)

·         Michael Bond, known for his ‘Paddington Bear’ series (June 27)

·         Kate Millett, whose landmark ‘Sexual Politics’ was a manifesto for the modern feminist movement (September 6)

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