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Showing posts from May, 2020

A Letter from Luxembourg

The French translation of All the Lives We Never Lived had a bumpy start. Its release in March 2020 crashed full tilt into worldwide lockdowns. Bookshops were shut, literary festivals cancelled, reading seemed to be the last thing on people's distracted, panic-stricken minds. I thought the book would sink to the bottom of the sea floor and rest quietly there along with other wrecks. But readers are tenacious people. The other day there was an email from one of them, Valérie Voisin, which I am reproducing below unaltered because it so vividly and movingly describes her experience of how she got and read a book by an author unknown to her, during a lockdown.  I am grateful to Valérie for taking the trouble to write to me and for giving me permission to reproduce her message. Dear Madam, I discovered your novel during the lockdown when the bookshop started a on-line shop section and delivered books at home. It was a new process for the

Carolyn Reidy 1949 -2020

At a time when the sky is darkening every day with bad news, it grew even darker today with the news of Carolyn Reidy's sudden death. She was publisher at Simon and Schuster, and its President. "She began her career at Random House in 1974, in the subsidiary rights department. She sat outside the office of Toni Morrison, who was an editor in the trade book division at the time and who, by Ms. Reidy’s account, proved to be an inspiration," says the New York Times . "She also was never afraid to offer a controversial glimpse into her thinking. At Frankfurt, when asked about Brexit, she made a point of asserting that the advantage the UK market historically has had with its exclusive rights in the European market would be over. Already raised eyebrows shot up even further when she added, 'I still don’t understand why the British think they have India,'" Publishing Perspectives wrote. Among authors she published in a company that had 17 imp


Mall Road, Ranikhet | Anuradha Roy It is the middle of April and weeks into lockdown, limbo is a jittery place.  In today’s newspaper, gunshots during a game of Ludo: “Jai accused Prashant of coughing with the intention of giving coronavirus to other people. He shot him in the thigh.” Rumours whine like mosquitoes. A strident voice wafts across from next door: “Is this futuristic Chinese bioterrorism or a Muslim conspiracy?” Some say our hellish sanitation and tropical fevers have given us a carapace of immunity. We breathe calmer for a moment. Then the bad news closes in again: lost jobs, suffering, starvation and no end in sight. I chanced upon a tweet yesterday from Christina Lamb, a foreign correspondent for the Sunday Times . “For the first time in my life I find myself wishing I lived in the country with a dog and a breadmaker and maybe a lemon tree.” That’s been us the past 20 years, in a corner of the Himalayas with three dogs and two lemon trees. No bre