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Tag: second world war

  • World War II in books and films

    Here’s September 1 one day late: September 1, 1939, written by WH Auden in New York when Germany invaded Poland, starting the Second World War. The war produced epic novels and movies. Casablanca was made in 1942, the year America joined the war after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour. Brief Encounter was made in […]

  • World War II , Vera Lynn and Auden

    This was the day Poland was invaded by Germany and Russia 70 years ago, marking the start of the Second World War. Britain and France declared war on Germany two days later, on September 3. Those wartime memories have now made Vera Lynn the oldest artiste to hit the charts. At the age of 92, […]

  • Will A Suitable Girl be as good as The Glass Palace?

    The news that Vikram Seth is writing a sequel to A Suitable Boy, my favourite novel, had me reaching for another book I love: The Glass Palace by Amitav Ghosh. What set me off was an interview Seth gave to The Hindu newspaper in India. The sequel, A Suitable Girl, will be set in the […]

  • The Singapore Grip

    The Singapore Grip by JG Farrell Anyone who loves Singapore should read The Singapore Grip by JG Farrell. He won the Booker Prize in 1973 for The Siege of Krishnapur about the 1857 War of Indian Independence. The Singapore Grip is also a historical novel, describing Singapore at the time of the Japanese invasion during […]

  • Ballard’s terrible Shanghai in Empire Of The Sun

    The Japanese committed terrible atrocities in the Second World War, as we all know, but they had no monopoly on cruelty. One has only to read JG Ballard’s Empire Of The Sun to see what a terrible city Shanghai was when it fell to the Japanese. I was going through the novel again after hearing […]

  • 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, […]