Cafe Dissensus Review of Books (CDRB)

Here you will find links to all the pieces on books we have published. We are planning to move gradually to in-depth, long-form reviews, author interviews, and essays on books. In future, the books section will be called, Cafe Dissensus Review of Books (CDRB). Scroll down to see the Books Section pieces we have published so far.

Submission Guidelines for Café Dissensus Books Section

Due to the large number of review requests and Books Sections pieces we receive, here are some guidelines for authors, reviewers, and publishers to keep in mind when sending or reviewing books as well as writing pieces for the Books Section of Café Dissensus Everyday, the blog of Café Dissensus magazine.

All submissions should be addressed to

A. Book Reviews:

For writers:

When sending a query, please include a synopsis of your book. At this initial stage we don’t want copies of your work attached either as a PDF or a link to where we may buy it. It is customary to ask first. You may wish to include a sample of your writing (up to 500 words). Based on the synopsis and sample, we’ll consider whether your work fits our current readership focus. We will then assign you a reviewer.

Café Dissensus is looking for writing that excites, challenges, and provokes. Our focus is literary fiction, innovative poetry, thoughtful essays and imaginative memoirs: writing that moves us to imagine other worlds. Writers need to ensure their work has been professionally edited and published, along with any recommendations they have received in the media.

After we have assigned a reviewer, the writer then must provide a full copy, free of charge, to the reviewer. The reviewer may request a hard copy or an online version. You may expect to wait at least a month (it could be more) before a review is published.

For Publishers:

We are interested in moving poetry, serious literary fiction, imaginative non-fiction, and consummately narrated autobiographies/memoirs. Our primary focus is South Asia. However, we are open to books about other parts of the world as well.

For reviewers:

Please ensure that author’s name, genre and publication details are clearly indicated.

Since we plan to move to long-form reviews, as a general guideline we expect reviews to be between 1500 – 2000 words in length, although, longer, in-depth reviews to about 3000 words are also welcome.

A good review describes, analyses, and provides compelling reasons for a reader to invest in the author. Please ensure a good mix of discussion, critique and quotes, along with your personal thoughts on why the text appeals to you.

B. Author Interviews:

We welcome in-depth, long-form author interviews and conversations between writers. Please send us a brief inquiry/synopsis of the proposed interview, keeping in mind that Café Dissensus has a diverse, transnational readership. Interviews and conversations may include author motivations, personal philosophies, extracts from the writing and any fun or interesting facts about the writer. For ideas on writing author interviews, check out the Interviews page on The Paris Review.

We are also open to audio and audio-video interviews. In case, you are considering submitting one, do send us the final edited version. Audio-visual medium is one of our preferred modes and we encourage submissions in this medium.

C. Essays on Books/Authors:

We also welcome essays on writers and books. In fact, in-depth, long-form essays on books/authors would become, as we envisage the future of Café Dissensus, one of our mainstays. In this regard, we take inspiration from The Paris ReviewLondon Review of Books (LRB) and Los Angeles Review of Books (LARB).

Writers need to follow the formal conventions of essay writing by ensuring that it is more than an opinion piece or a review. Close reading of the book is expected. In addition, an essay must be able to consult/refer to a range of other critical pieces on the author/book without appearing academic in the treatment. You may consult Jedediah Purdy’s “Maybe Connect” as a good example of an essay on books. Here is the link to the piece published on LARB.

Additionally, we encourage writers to submit essays about their work and motivations. You might find the FlavorWire websiteinstructive in this regard.

D. Excerpts from Books:

Authors are invited to submit excerpts from their books. Do send two chapters to our Books Editor for consideration.

Publishers are encouraged to submit excerpts from Books. Do send a couple of chapters to our Books Editor for consideration.

We appreciate your readership and hope these guidelines are helpful.


Book Reviews: 

Book Review: ‘Postcolonial Indian English Fiction: Decentering the Nation’
Book Review: Annie Zaidi’s Unbound – 2000 Years of Indian Women’s Writing
Book Review: Chandramohan S’ Letters to Namdeo Dhasal
Book Review: Julian Barnes’ The Noise of Time
Book Review: Saeed Naqvi’s Being the Other: The Muslim in India
Book Review: Josy Joseph’s A Feast of Vultures: The Hidden Business of Democracy in India
Book Review: Noam Chomsky’s ‘9-11: Was There an Alternative?
Book Review: Romila Thapar, A.G.Noorani, and Sadanand Menon’s On Nationalism
Book Review: Charles Ades Fishman & Smita Sahay’s Veils, Halos & Shackles
Book Review: Goirick Brahmachari’s For the Love of Pork
Book Review: Mukul Kesavan’s The Ugliness of the Indian Male and Other Propositions
Book Review: Do you Remember Kunan Poshpora?
ook Review: Abubakar Siddique’s The Pashtuns
Book Review: Arjun Rajendran’s Snake Wine
Book Review: Sanjeev Sethi’s This Summer and That Summer
Book Review: Sunjeev Sahota’s The Year of the Runaways
Book Review: Charlotte Wood’s The Natural Way Of Things
Book Review: Where did the Indians go?
Book Review: Five Malayali Poets Champion Erotica
Book Review: Aatish Tasee’r The Way Things Were
Book Review: Ayesha Jalal’s The Pity of Partition: Manto’s Life, Times, and Work across the India-Pakistan Divide
Book Review: Joyce Yarrow and Arindam Roy’s Rivers Run Back
Book Review: Akhil Gupta’s Red Tape: Bureaucracy, Structural Violence, and Poverty in India
Book Review: Between the Map and the Memory
Book Review: Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Lowland
Book Review: Manoj Mitta’s The Fiction of Fact-Finding: Modi and Godhra
Book Review: A.G. Noorani’s The Destruction of Hyderabad
Book Review: Jeremy Seabrook & Imran Ahmed Siddiqui’s People without History: India’s Muslim Ghettos
Book Review: Aman Sethi’s A Free Man: A True Story of Life and Death in Delhi
Book Review: Neelanjana Banerjee, Summi Kaipa, and Pireeni Sundaralingam’s Indivisible
Book Review: Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Lowland
Book Review: Basharat Peer’s Curfewed Night

Essays on Authors/Books: 

Resist Fascism. Boycott Jaipur Literature Festival.
Identity, Alienation, and Sexuality in Hanif Kureishi’s ‘My Beautiful Laundrette’
Reading Phanishwar Nath Renu
Those Immigrants!: A Psychological Exploration of Achievement
Family History, Secrets, and Universal Truths in Creative Nonfiction
Nabanita Dev Sen: The Feisty Feminist, Humorist of Post-Colonial Bengali Literature
In Memoriam: Intizar Husain
On Not Reading Dickens
A Decade of Reading Latin America (Part III)
A decade of reading Latin America (Part II)
A decade of reading Latin America (Part I)
“Unto that Element”: Water Imagery in Nabina Das’ The House of Twining Roses: Stories of the Mapped and the Unmapped
Analyzing the Feminine Identity in Jane Austen’s Society
Long-form Essay: A Journey Through Pakistan: Nicholas Schmidle’s To Live or To Perish Forever
A Rewriting of the Ending of Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart (Part – II)
A Rewriting of the Ending of Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart (Part – I)

Interviews with Authors:

A Conversation with Ruth Vanita
A Conversation with Margi Gibb on her Book, Kissed By A Deer: A Tibetan Odyssey
An Interview with author, Sutapa Basu
An Interview with Henry BaymanAn Interview with Stephen S. SchwartzAn Interview with Urdu Novelist, Rahman Abbas
An interview with Professor Ian Markham
In Conversation with Poet, Larissa Shmailo
An Interview with Author, Dr. Santosh Bakaya
In Conversation with the Tamil Author, SalmaAn Interview with Dr. Neha Vora on Impossible Citizens: Dubai’s Indian Diaspora

Book Excerpts: 

Book Excerpt: From Trivarna Hariharan’s The Necessity of Geography
Book Excerpt: Asish Singh’s Self-sustainability of Community Radio: Stories from India
Book Excerpt: Saeed Naqvi’s Being the Other: The Muslim in India
Book Excerpt: Kalpana Pathak’s Breaking the Mould: Alternative Schools in India
Book Excerpt: Aroup Chatterjee’s Mother Teresa: The Untold Story
Book Excerpt: Sameer Khan’s “Memories of Cricket”
Book Excerpt: Sameer Khan’s “Iqbal Chacha”
Book Excerpt: From Malsawmi Jacob’s novel, ZORAMI: A redemption song
Book Exceprt: From Begum
Book Excerpt: Blood, Sweat, and Gorkhaland: Part-III
Book Excerpt: Blood, Sweat, and Gorkhaland: Part-II
Book Excerpt: Blood, Sweat, and Gorkhaland: Part-I