Last year it was Sepoy’s essays that were collected in a book, and this year, a collection of Lapata’s essays and art, the second CM book, The Little Book of Terror, was published by Farangi’s Foxhead Books. You can read some reviews of TLBT at the new CM page, CM Books.
We had some terrific guest essays this year. Rohit edited and wrote much of the CM series on political life and public culture in South Asia, including fantastic essays on the anti-Sikh pogroms and Bal Thackery’s legacies. Neelika contributed a fabulous two-part essay on South African Desis (here, here). Tipu Sultan contributed a powerful memoir of “the very first American gated communities ever built in the twentieth century: the exemplary, model ‘suburb.’” Musharraf Ali Farooqi jumped feet first in the proposed series on Maulat Jatt, and apparently no one dared write a follow up to that riot of an essay. Sara Waheed’s review of Goat Days was a win, as was Hussein Omar’s review of Mia Ramnath’s Hajj to Utopia.
Speaking of reviews, Farangi said his once a year hello with a review of the enjoyable Friedman-bashing book including an interview with its author, Belen Fernandez. Lapata continued to review books. Don’t miss her reviews of Habibi and Marina Warner’s Stranger Magic: Charmed States and the Arabian Nights. Sepoy wrote perhaps the only critical review of Musharraf Ali Farooqi’s highly acclaimed novel Between Clay and Dust out there. I reviewed some books as well (here, here), including WTWFA.
Sepoy’s six-part essay on Lahore (start here) was the highlight of the year, here at CM. He also started to write about Berlin and we hope that he continues to do so. Other notables from Sepoy’s pen are his love letter to Agha Shahid Ali and a somber reflection on Pakistani Hazaras.
PPPS. My six-part essay on 1971 (link).