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The Book Review at the Frankfurt Book Fair

In the year 2000, The Book Review celebrated its Silver Jubilee. The first South Asia Special was initiated as one of the markers of the event. Eight years and eleven issues later, South Asia Special Issue XII makes its appearance in time for the Frankfurt Book Fair 2008.   With the shift of the economic balance of power to the East over the last decade, Asia, at the beginning of the twenty-first century, notwithstanding all the negatives, is an exciting region. Within Asia the subcontinent is a distinct entity that displays strands of shared commonality in a vast and diverse mosaic. Contiguous geographical boundaries, civilizational unity and a shared historical past of millennia, and the more recent experience of having been subjected to colonial hegemony for over two centuries, give this region a distinct identity—social and cultural.   Asia is energetically striving to transform the economic conditions of its people and at the same time trying to take up a leadership role in the global economy. At the same time, there is a distinct shift in the minds of the people and governments, from conflict to cooperation, reflecting a yearning for peace and stability. This finds an echo in the words of writers, poets, social scientists and activists.   The rise of fundamentalism and the disastrous consequences of mixing politics with religion, problems of governance and development, the social evils that refuse to be banished despite the spread of education, ethnic strife and endemic corruption have all been given cognizance with an intense awareness of the warts and blind spots in these special issues of The Book Review. The reviews through critical evaluation bring into focus the urgent need to think beyond borders and boundaries, to find possible ways and means for setting things right in a sprit of mutual give and take. There is an urgent need for humanity to see and think beyond its blinkered vision to be able to iron out dissonances.   The Book Review provides a forum for discourse bringing into focus common interests, hopes, aspirations, and, equally important—shared concerns. Critics from the world over have reviewed books from all over the subcontinent in these columns. Experts in their field have critiqued books across disciplines—History, Religion, Gender studies, Economics, Ecology, Politics, International Relations, Art and Culture, and Literature.The richness, range and passion of debate on these domains are reflected in these pages of The Book Review. As ...

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