Shashi Kapoor: The Householder, the Star
Rupa, 2016 - Fiction - 196 pages
Comprising 99 stories, essays, extracts, poems and articles (one for each year of his life), the book is divided into fifteen sections, each one corresponding to a genre that he excelled in. Family Matters contains extracts from his autobiography and some personal narratives, My Beloved Country has some extraordinary writing about India, The Sikhs comprises excerpts from his books essays on the community and translations of the Sikh hymns, The Uses and Abuses of Religion features his articles on the dangers of communalism and a sublime meditation on religion, his accounts of Pakistan and Pakistanis are included in Passage to Pakistan, he wrote interestingly about famous people all his life and twelve of his profiles feature in Singular People, a self-taught naturalist, he was passionate about conservation-The Ferocity and Flamboyance of Nature has writings on this theme, Sex on My Mind contains some entertaining ruminations on sex, one of the subjects that he was most associated with in the popular imagination. As with sex, so with humour-a few of his funniest jokes find a place in A Merry Heart. The section Enthusiasms, Rants and Soliloquies has a fair representation of his electrifying polemics on a variety of subjects. The most insightful of his thoughts on life, dealing with adversity, ageing and death find a place In How to Live, How to Die. Selections from the six novels he published are to be found in The Novels, Portrait of a Lady and Other Stories features the eponymous story along with a few others, a great admirer of writers in Urdu, Punjabi and Hindi, he translated many of their works, some of which can be found in Toba Tek Singh: Fiction in Translation and A Passion for Poetry. Together, the various pieces in the book showcase Khushwant Singh's exceptional accomplishments as a writer.
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