That’s the Word for It: Panglossian

Panglossian comes from Pangloss, the name of a character from Voltaire’s novel Candide, first published in 1759. In the novel, Pangloss is an unpragmatic optimist with an attitude reminiscent of the character Don Quixote. The word originates from the Greek Pan which means all and glossa which means tongue.- this translates into a kind of smug facility with language, otherwise known as glibness.

Let’s have a look at how the word has been used in fiction:

“He wants to believe that Shakespeare wrote all those books, that Lincoln fought the Civil War to free the slaves and the United States fought World War II to rescue the Jews and keep the world safe for democracy, that Jesus and the double feature are coming back. But I’m no Panglossian American.”
― Paul Beatty, The Sellout


That’s the Word for It: Eponymous

The word eponymous has to do what is named. Some examples are Lake Victoria, Faraday’s Laws, etc. The usage of the word eponym as a noun and eponymous as an adjective is a trifle confusing especially when you do not know the difference between what is named and the name itself.

Some examples of the word used in books:

“The screen blanked, then produced a book cover. The jacket image—in black-and-white—showed barking dogs surrounding a scarecrow. In the background, shoulders slumped in a posture of weariness or defeat (or both), was a hunter with a gun. The eponymous Cortland, probably.”
― Stephen King, The Bazaar of Bad Dreams

“Emma is the eponymous heroine, which means having the name that is used as the title or name of something else.)”
― Joan Elizabeth Klingel Ray, Jane Austen For Dummies

That’s the Word for It: Gentrification

Gentrification is a controversial term when it comes to urban planning and has an unpleasant connotation.  When more well-off people move into poorer areas, the existing demographic is upturned and development occurs, mostly at the expense of the people who live there already. So here, development is one-sided and even hypocritical. The word gentrification comes from the Old French word genterise, which has to do with ‘people of gentle birth’.

Some examples of the word gentrification in literature:

“There is a gentrification that is happening to cities, and there is a gentrification that is happening to the emotions too, with a similarly homogenising, whitening, deadening effect. Amidst the glossiness, of late capitalism, we are fed the notion that all difficult feeling – depression, anxiety, loneliness, rage – are simply a consequence of unsettled chemistry, a problem to be fixed, rather than a response to structural injustice or, on the other hand, to the native texture of embodiment, of doing time, as David Wojnarowicz memorably put it, in a rented body, with all the attendant grief and frustration that entails.”
― Olivia Laing, The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone

“It is ironic, in the manner of a dystopian nightmare, that an advanced capitalist empire which is founded on genocide and slavery, which still functions as the global police, which has an armed population, which routinely violates international human rights, which has the largest known military industrial complex in the world, which is the world’s largest producer of pornography, has also produced a saccharine ideology in which ‘positive thinking’ functions as a form of psychological gentrification. And it is not insignificant that the neoliberal lie that one is 110% responsible for one’s life—first powerfully encapsulated by the ‘alternative’ conservative thinker Louise Hay, and more recently echoed by Eckhart Tolle, author of The Power of Now (1997/2005)—is directed at women. Today, gendered victim-blaming has become a form of upwardly mobile common sense ‘wisdom’. Now victim blaming is expressed by voices that sound soothing, wise, calm, above all, loving.”
― Abigail Bray, Misogyny Re-Loaded

The Young Author Program Anthology is out at the Store!

Happy Valentine’s Day! Glad to announce that Ice Creams and Time Machines, the Young Author Program Anthology, is out at the Store today. It’s been in the works for a while.

Last year, I conducted a couple of writing workshops for children in the age bracket of 8-15. The classes were conducted at multiple venues. The children learned the art of weaving plots, creating characters and writing dialogues. The workshop ended in the creation of a piece of fiction with a well-etched character and an interesting plot line.

Each and every story in the anthology is a labor of love. And it was not just the writing…while some of the workshops were extremely cerebral, some of them were plain and simple fun! Hope to conduct more writing workshops with this year.

You can purchase a copy of the anthology here. and the contributors will donate any proceeds generated from the sales of this book to support a library building campaign via the Donate a Book platform.

Young Author Program Anthology

That’s the Word for It: Apricity

Apricity is a word that the team stumbled upon on Twitter. It’s a rare word, having appeared in 1623 when Henry Cockeram recorded or invented it it for his dictionary. The word never really took off.

Here are some instances of this word used in literature:

Apricity (n.) the warmth of the sun in winter.

A strange a lovely word. The OED does not give any citation for its use except for Henry Cockeram’s 1623 “English Dictionarie”. Not to be confused with “apricate” (to bask in the sun), although both come from the Latin “apricus”, meaning exposed to the sun.”
― Ammon Shea, Reading the OED: One Man, One Year, 21,730 Pages

“Apricity. That’s what it’s called. A word Reuben taught me: the warmth of the sun in winter.”
― Gillian McAllister, Anything You Do Say

That’s the Word for It: Braggadocio

This flamboyant word was first used by the poet Edmund Spencer in the poem Faerie Queene. The word seems to be making a comeback in political circles. Even President Donald Trump attempted to use the word- “I wrote the Art of the Deal. I say that not in a braggadocious way”-and this sent tweeps on a braggadocio word search frenzy.

India Public Domain 2020: Ten Indian authors whose works entered the public domain in 2020

Every year on 1st of January, copyright of a number of creative works expires and they enter the public domain in India and in other countries of the world. We have been compiling a list of Indian authors whose work enters the public domain over the years. You can find the lists from earlier years here: 2012,20132014, 201520162017, 2018, 2019.

The criteria for this year is that the author died in the calendar year 1959 and the work was published before his death. In case the work was published after the author’s death, it will only come out of copyright after 60 years from the date of publication. Once the work enters the public domain, it means that most of the works are now free to be republished, translated, and converted to different formats.

We have collected the data from various sources including Wikipedia and other online sources, some of which we will be linking here. Please intimate us if you come across any errors and let us know if you are aware of any other authors from India who died in 1959.

Govind Sakharam Sardesai (1865–1959)

Govind Sakharam Sardesai was popularly known as Riyasatkar Sardesai and was a Padma Bhushan winner. He was born in a middle-class family and after receiving a college education, he worked as a personal secretary to Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III and tutor to the princes.  He was a historian from Maharashtra and under the Maharaja’s patronage, he wrote a number of books including the eight-volume Marathi series Riyasats which told the thousand-year history of India, three volumes of Musalmani Riyasat and two volumes of British Riyasat. Another book he authored was a three-volume series called New History of the Marathas. Sardesai’s scholarship is remarkable. He was responsible for editing 35,000 documents in Marathi, English, Gujarati and Persian and he then published 45 volumes of Peshwa daftar.


Haricharan Bandopadhayaya (1867–1959)

Haricharan Bandopadhayaya was a scholar and lexicographer best known for his 5-volume Bangiya Sabdakosh (Bengali dictionary). Rabindranath Tagore personally got him to Shantiniketan and it was at his request that Bandopadhyaya began to compile the dictionary, a task that took forty years to complete! He also wrote books such as Sanskrit PraveshPali PraveshByakaran KoumadiHints on Sanskrit Translation and CompositionKobir KathaRabindranather Katha, etc. He was the recipient of several awards such as the Sarojini Basu Gold Medal, Sisir Kumar Memorial Prize from the University of Calcutta and Desikottama from Visva Bharati.

Abdur Razzaq Malihabadi (1875–1959)

Abdur Razzaq Malihabadi was a journalist and was primarily known as the autobiographer of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad. He was born in Malihabad in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. He studied in UP and did his doctorate in Saudi Arabia. He worked at All India Radio heading Arabic Department in New Delhi. He was close to the Saudi monarchy. He wrote against the British Raj. His books Zikar-e-Azad and Azad Ki Kahani Khud Azad Ki Zubani were posthumously published.

R. Rangaraju (1875–1959)

R. Rangaraju was a bestselling Tamil novelist from Madras Presidency, British India. He is considered as one of the pioneers of Tamil fiction writing. He was born in Paalayamkottai. He started writing detective novels in 1908. His novels had social reformist themes like the emancipation of women and thievery in mutts. His novels had many reprints and sold as much as 70,0000 copies Some of books are Rajambal, Chandrakantha, Mohanasundaram, Anandakrishnan, Rajendran, Varadharaja, Vijayaragavan and Jeyarangan.

Dil Shahjahanpuri (1875–1959)

Dil Shahjahanpuri was the pen name of Zameer Hasan Khan, the famous Urdu ghazal writer. He was born in Shahjahanpur, Uttar Pradesh and was the disciple of the Urdu poet, Amir Meenai. Two collections of his ghazals have been published: Naghma e Dil and Tarana e Dil.

Barindra Kumar Ghosh (1880–1959)

Barindra Kumar Ghosh or  Barin Ghosh as he was better known was an Indian revolutionary and journalist. He was Sri Aurobindo’s younger brother and one of the founding members of Jugantar, a revolutionary outfit in Bengal. He studied in Deoghar and received military training in Baroda. Barin Ghosh was sentenced to death in the Alipore Bomb Case but the sentence was reduced to life imprisonment, and he was deported to the Cellular Jail in Andaman. Once he was released, he took to journalism and formed an ashram in Kolkata. Aurobindo had led him toward the revolutionary movement and the same brother now had turned into a spiritual icon. He started an English weekly, The Dawn of India and was the editor of the Bengali daily Dainik Basumati.

Some of his books include Dvipantarer Banshi, Pather Ingit, Amar Atmakatha, Agnijug, Rishi Rajnarayan, The Tale of My Exile and Sri Aurobindo.

Narayana Panickar (1889–1959)

Narayana Panickar was an Indian essayist, playwright, translator, lexicographer, novelist and historian of Malayalam. He was born in Alappuzha district in Kerala. He studied at Maharaja’s College, Ernakulam and worked as a teacher.

He has written over 100 books but is best known for Kerala Bhasha Sahithya Charthram, a six-volume comprehensive history of Malayalam literature up to 1954 and Navayuga Bhasha Nighantu, a lexicon. He also wrote novels and translated Tamil and Bengali classics. He was a Sahitya Akademi winner in 1955.

Muhammad Ilyas (Elias) Burney (1890–1959)

Professor Elias Burney was the first head of the Department of Economics at Osmania University in Hyderabad, India. He published about 40 books in Urdu, Persian, Arabic and English.

His most famous work is Qadiani Muzhab, a book on the Ahmadiyya religion. One of his books called Urdu Hindi Rasmulkhat (Scripts) was a comparative study of Urdu and Hindi scripts. Another interesting book in English is My Life and Experiences.

Dhiraj Bhattacharya (1905–1959)

Primarily known as an actor and theater personality in Bengali and Hindi, Dhiraj Bhattacharya also wrote books including a two-part autobiography and a few short books like Jakhan Police Chilam, Jakhan Nayak Chilam, Mahua Milan, Sajano Bagan and Mon Nie Khela.

Pattukkottai Kalyanasundaram (1930–1959)

Pattukottai Kalyanasundaranar was an Indian poet and a popular Tamil lyricist best remembered for his lyrics for M. G. Ramachandran’s movies.

Looking Back at 2019: A Year in Books

For Indians growing up in the 1990s, the year 2020 holds a special significance. APJ Abdul Kalam set 2020 as the target for India to graduate to a developed country. He inspired a whole generation to aim for that goal.

2020 is here and even though we are not quite where he envisioned us yet, it is also true that we have come a long way. While it is a must to keep our eyes on the goal, it is also important to take stock of our progress. In that spirit, we look back on what 2019 was like at

Over 2000 New Titles Across 20 Languages

In 2019, 2000 new print titles were published on across 20 different languages. Alongside, 800 new ebook titles also made their way to our store. There was poetry; there was fiction; there was spirituality, history, science and technology, graphical arts and a whole lot more. Let’s get a taste of the rich buffet of books on offer.

Dhwani Rao’s book called How to Become an Emcee gives an insider’s perspective of how to get into the public speaking world. Rohith Potti and Pooja Bhula talk about what drives successful entrepreneurs today in their book Intelligent Fanatics of India. Continuing their mission of educating more and more kids about the importance of solid waste management, the Trashonomics book is now available in Oriya and Bengali as well. How AI can be implemented in companies is explored in the book Practical Artificial Intelligence: An Enterprise Playbook by Alan-Peiz Sharpe and Kashyap Kompella.

Besides non-fiction, we also have some literariness. Take City 5, the first in a series of anthologies of contemporary short fiction and poetry from South Asia, both in English and the vernacular (translated into English). Among the poetry books, check out the  100 Splendid Voices- Celebrating Womanhood by Charu Sharma and Jennis Joy Jacob and Sufi Coffee by Mashook Rahman.  For the art-inclined, Shirish Deshpande lays out the rules of sketching in The Omnibus of Pen Sketching.


Interview: Anna Banasiak

We spoke to the poet Anna Banasiak.

Anna Banasiak is a poet and occupational therapist. She is the winner of many poetry competitions. Her poems have been published in New York, London, Australia, Canada, India, Africa, Japan, China, Cuba and Israel.


Why do you write poetry? 

I write poetry to express the beauty of the world, to paint with words happiness and suffering, to communicate with the world and others and to better understand human nature. As I wrote in my poem Poetry

thoughtfully/slowly/I grow up to myself/I distort time with words/stopped in the land of my childhood.

Every poem is a different amazing adventure, and an everlasting process full of magic and emotions. I’m inspired by people, their histories, worlds, nature, and works of art.

lull me lull / kołysz mnie kołysz (eBook)You write in English and Polish. Tell us about the translation process of the book Lull me Lull.

It’s been a fascinating process. This book is very personal so it was not difficult to express emotions in a different language. I collaborated with Italian editor Fabrizio Frosini.

Tell us about the Duet series where you have collaborated with multiple authors from different parts of the world. What tips do you have for author collaborations?

I belong to the Japan Universal Poets Association. It’s full of wonderful and talented writers and it’s a great honor to work with them. English-Japanese duet series are edited by poet and translator Mariko Sumikura. The editions are beautiful and unique. It’s very important to read and listen carefully and constantly work on your style and poetic imagination.

Your favorite poet/poetry book?

From my childhood, it was Wisława Szymborska, Czesław Miłosz, Halina Poświatowska, Sylvia Plath, Pablo Neruda, William Collins, Edward Hirsch and Nelly Sachs. My favorite poetry book is Nothing Twice: Selected poems.

Tell us about self-publishing journey. What has your experience with been like?

It was a pleasure to work with, I recommend this wonderful platform to every author. They are very helpful.

Tell us about your latest eBook and what other poetry books you have in the works.

My latest poetry book Daddy is dedicated to Father, it’s a kind of moving tribute to every father, full of love and good memories and a fantasy book called Tales from the Land of Wasps about the Kingdom of Imagination and taming our fears. I have many writing plans.

I have many writing plans-Cuba Libro, a poetry book about love, The Wizard Comb, poems for children, etc.

Thanks for sharing your writing story with us Anna!