by Amit Roy
THE London Book Fair had a “poet’s corner” for the first time, with the honour of occupying it going to India’s woman of verse, Imtiaz Dharker.
Among the literary magazines distributed free to the 25,000 visitors from 135 countries was the latest issue of The New York Review of Books, where the lead article was Modi’s India by Max Rodenbeck, South Asia bureau chief of the Economist (no friend of the Indian prime minister).
The cover image was of Modi dressed to resemble Prince Rama.
Rodenbeck’s verdict? “The smart money (at the next general election) is still on Modi, but recent trends suggest he would be wise to call an early election, or he may see himself returned to power with a reduced majority, dependent on coalition allies. That might at least crimp his style.”
The highlight of the opening day was the news that former president Bill Clinton “provided incredible detail” to a thriller, The President Is Missing, co-authored with his golf playing friend, James Patterson.
As a stunt, a Donald Trump lookalike put his feet up on the table in a mocked-up Oval Office as he held a copy of the book.
According to the summary, “the president disappears. The world is in shock. But the reason why is he’s missing is much worse than anyone can imagine.”
The President Is Missing, which has been sold to 21 territories, is being published in the UK on June 4 by Penguin Random House, whose divisional managing director, Susan Sandon, freshly returned from the Jaipur Literary Festival, said: “This book will be a global phenomenon, the book of the summer.”