Simon Schama’s American history

The American Future: A History by Simon Schama The American Future is a labour of love by the British historian Simon Schama, who clearly admires America. This is a loving exploration of American history highlighting the dreams and ideals that created the country and continue to animate it. Schama also notes the darker currents — […]

A writer in the White House

Dreams From My Father by Barack Obama It was such a pleasure reading Dreams From My Father. It doesn’t read like a book written by a politician at all. Barack Obama has the novelist’s touch. How can you put down a book with passages like this? Three o’clock in the morning. The moon-washed streets empty, […]

Calcutta hosts world’s biggest book fair

I am surprised the BBC didn’t mention the Scottish writer Alexander McCall Smith is in Calcutta (Kolkata) for the Kolkata Book Fair. Maybe the BBC presenter and the Indian correspondent Subir Bhowmik ran out of time discussing the size and scale and the city’s passion for books that has made it the world’s largest retail […]

Updike, the most sensuous writer in English

The most sensuous writer in the English language is dead. No one wrote more sensuous prose than John Updike. He carried his lyricism into his 70s. He was 76 when he died yesterday. The cause was lung cancer, according to his publisher, Alfred A Knopf. He was – for his style and views perhaps – […]