Author: A K Ramanujan
Jayant Mahapatra/Eminent Contributors
Translator(s)/ Editors(s): John Thieme/ Ira Raja
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0198062192
This anthology of writings on food brings together a wide range of literary and non-literary texts from South Asia. It draws on writing in English from the subcontinent, as well as the Diaspora and includes extracts from works by V.S. Naipaul, Romesh Gunesekera, Salman Rushdie, Sara Suleri, Kamila Shamsie, Githa Hariharan, and Kiran Desai, among others, alongside translations from regional Indian languages. The volume covers a broad range of areas of interest: scholarly, narrative, philosophical, literary, anthropological, and cultural.
The recent interest in literary representations of food dwells on the idea that not only is eating the most basic of human activities, but also a major marker of social, cultural, and psychic identity. Food is an integral way in which individuals perceive themselves, and are perceived by others, resulting in stereotyping, as well as providing a means of self-determination. This volume will appeal to general readers, as well as students and scholars of literature and cultural studies.
‘…an anthology in which the mostly excellent selections can stand on their own…of interest both to food studies specialists and the general reader.’
- The Times Literary Supplement
‘The Table is Laid is a feast with a difference…expressions by literary greats alongside translations from regional Indian languages…a fine balance…ensures an appeal to a readership that encompasses many genres.’
- The Tribune
‘The anthology-comprising short stories, poetry, and extracts from novels-moves methodically…The garnish [is] provided by our best writers.’
- Hindustan Times
‘Like a good buffet, The Table is Laid…has a bit of everything… [and] tends to tickle the intellectual palate…The opening piece [is] by one of our most brilliant poets… [which] sets the tone for this collection …grounded in literary and religious traditions.’
- Business World
‘[The anthology] is a prism through which personality, history, religion, customs, social hierarchies, and gender relations are explored …a wide-ranging selection.’
A.K. Ramanujan: 'Food for Thought: Towards an Anthology of Hindu Food Images'
FASTING, FEASTING, AND FAMINE
M.K. Gandhi: 'Fasting' from An Autobiography: The Story of My Experiments with Truth
Fakir Muhammed Katpadi: 'Nombu'
Jayanta Mahapatra: 'Grandfather'
Extract from Bijan Bhattacarya Nabanna
Jean Arasanayagam: 'The Hunger of Death'
Sara Suleri: From Meatless Days: Hunger and Appetite
Bibhuti Bhushan Bandyopadhyay: 'The Trellis'
Vaikom Muhammad Basheer: 'Poovan Banana'
Ismat Chughtai: 'The Rock'
Sudha Kaul: Egg Bandits' from The Tiger Ladies: A Memoir of Kashmi.
RITES, CEREMONIES, AND CUSTOMS
V.S. Naipaul: From The Mystic Masseur
Swami: 'The Funeral Feast'
Nanak Singh: 'Bhua'
Thummeti Raghothama Reddi: From 'Eleventh Day'
Agha Shahid Ali: 'A Butcher'
Anita Desai: 'A Devoted Son'
MEALS AND RESTAURANTS
Kishori Charan Das: 'Fish Mayonnaise'
Preetish Acharya: 'Order Cancel'
Nissim Ezekiel: 'Irani Restaurant Instructions'
Dom Moraes: 'Family Dinner'
Jussawalla, Adil: 'The Waiters'
KITCHENS AND COOKS
Romesh Guneskera: From Reef
Geetanjali Shree: 'Mai'
Shashi Deshpande: 'Of Kitchens and Goddesses'
Vaidehi: 'The Girl in the Kitchen'
Prabal Kumar Basu: 'Living Scape'
HERBS AND SPICES
Sujata Bhatt: Three poems from The Stinking Rose
Opening section of Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni's from The Mistress of Spices
Chitrita Banerji: Essay from The Hour of the Goddess, 'Patoler Ma'
FRUITS AND DESSERTS
Jean Arasanayagam: 'Mango Fever'
Kiran Desai: From Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard
Alamgir Hashmi: 'Fruit'
K. Satchidananadan: 'Orange'
R.K. Narayan: From The Vendor of Sweets
Githa Hariharan: 'Gajar Halwa'
DISCOURSES OF DESIRE
Bama Charan Mitra: 'Sweetmeat'
Narendranath Mitra: 'A Drop of Milk'
Asghar Wajahat: 'Cake'
Pratibha Ray: 'The Curse'
Kaiser Haq: 'Drink to Me Only with Thine Eyes'
Sanjukta Bandopadhyay: 'The She-Cat'
NOSTALGIA, MEMORY, AND DIASPORA
Attia Hosain: Of Memories and Meals'
Zulfikar Ghose: 'The Picnic in Jammu'
Amitav Ghosh: From The Hungry Tide
Adrian Carton: 'Remembering Kedgeree'
Kamila Shamsie: Three short extracts from Salt and Saffron
FEEDING IDENTITY: CASTE, COMMUNITY, AND CULTURE
Swami Wahid Kazmi: 'The Scourge'
Rohinton Mistry: From Such a Long Journey
Daya Pawar: 'Son, Eat Your Fill', an extract from Baluta
Kausalya Baisantri: Extracts from 'Twice Cursed'
Short sections on pickling and halal from Salman Rushdie, Midnight's Children
Three passages on pickling and banana jam from Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things
Tabish Khair: From The Bus Stopped
Hira Bansude: 'Bosom Friend'