White Tears, Hari Kunzru’s dark, phantasmagoric fifth novel, is about the cultural appropriation of black music.
I used to listen to Wham! in secret. It was 1984 and I was nine. My school was in a white and mostly working-class village in Lancashire. I knew only one other Wham! fan and, though it’s been thirty years since we last met, he was the first person I contacted after I heard George […]
I live a mile away from Breitscheidplatz in Berlin, where 12 people were killed on Monday night after a lorry drove into a Christmas market. I could hear church bells ringing, odd at that time, and then my phone began to vibrate.
Twelve days after the election of Donald Trump, I went to see Yusuf/ Cat Stevens in Soho, London. I suspect I was not alone in wondering what he would have to say about a President-elect who has called for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.”
Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad won the National Book Award on Wednesday night. In his acceptance speech he told us, “We’re happy in here; outside is the blasted hellhole wasteland of Trumpland. Be kind to everybody. Make art and fight the power.” Not only was this apt for the evening, but it also describes the…
I saw Leonard Cohen in September 2012 at the Waldbühne in Berlin, a Nazi-built amphitheater only two years younger than himself. He was 78 at the time, and he sang for three and a half hours, including, shortly before the end, “First we Take Manhattan,” at which the crowd devotedly shouted the next line, “Then we take Berlin!”
While President elect Donald Trump was giving his victory speech, my attention fell a few inches to his right onto the small, lily-white boy in a dark suit and silver tie. He, the 10 year old Barron Trump, son of Donald and Melania, was fidgeting, swaying, and seemed awkward, self-conscious, as though he would rather be anywhere than on that stage in front of the entire world.
This year, literature’s biggest prizes for fiction, the Pulitzer and the Booker, went to novels by American writers of color : Viet Nguyen’s sense of always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others.”
Rajeev Balasubramanyam is an award-winning novelist with a PhD in black and Asian British literature. His latest book is called “Starstruck.” He is on Twitter at @Rajeevbalasu. Every year I root for Ngugi wa Thiong’o to win the Nobel Prize for literature. The Kenyan writer has been a favorite to win for years.
1 Cultivate social anxiety and some sort of an addiction. This will prevent you from getting a job. #2 Scorn the work of other writers, preferably anonymously on the Internet. It makes you feel strong and powerful. #3 Do not waste time ‘improving self-esteem’. You are a bad person.
A few years ago, NewSouth Books provoked controversy by issuing an edition of Huckleberry Finn with the N-word (which appears more than 200 times in the novel) altered to ‘slave’. Who would be bowdlerised next? Conrad? Kipling? No one seemed to think of P.G. Wodehouse and yet, rereading Thank You, Jeeves (1934) a few days […]
Donald Trump, “American Psycho” muse: How the “Art of the Deal” elitist became a poor man’s Patrick Bateman – and now he’s a real threat
Three-quarters of the way through Brett Easton Ellis’s “American Psycho,” a detective visits Patrick Bateman’s office on Wall Street to inquire about a missing banker. Bateman, who has already told us how he murdered this man, does his best to remain calm.
Boris Johnson is often described as Wodehousian. He’s usually paired with Bertie Wooster, though recently there have been some anxious comparisons with the Eurosceptic Roderick Spode. Only Max Hastings, former editor of the Telegraph, has associated him with Gussie Fink-Nottle, and no one, so far as I know, has compared him to Jeeves.
by Rajeev Balasubramanyam Chris Rock did it. He used the ‘R-word’. ‘Here’s the real question,’ he said on Oscar night. ‘The real question everybody wants to know…: Is Hollywood racist? Is Hollywood racist?’ He said it twice. And then he answered it. ‘You’re damn right Hollywood is racist.
I saw David Cameron in the flesh yesterday. I was at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London to read from my new book which, ironically, consists of stories about young British-Asians having strange encounters with famous people, and there he was, he and the entire pro-European faction of the Conservative Party, Heseltine and Clarke included.
The modern prose novel emerged in the late 18th century as a vehicle for the articulation of national identity. In Europe, the novel’s popularitymarked the rapidly diminishing importance of the old transnational orders of religion, empire and aristocracy vis-à-vis the new dominance of the nation state.