Tag Archives: The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer

The Teleology of Gilded Clinics: Mohan Rao

Guest post by MOHAN RAO

Siddhartha Mukherjee, The Emperor of all Maladies: A Biography of Cancer, Fourth Estate, London, 2011, paperback, pp.572.Rs.499.

This book, a brilliant book, received extraordinary attention in India.

You might disagree with me, but I believe we do not have a rich literary culture. This is of course fundamentally related to India’s caste structure, and that we haven’t changed that much since Independence. There is little public space for books, a space that has shrunk in the last 20 years, even as book sales have increased. But there lies another story – of the dumbing down of publishing, of the Chetan Bhagatisation of reading. All leading English language newspapers  – who have over the last 20 years dispensed with their book review editors, and indeed often book reviews unless they deal with fashion, food, fucking and the First World – discovered the book after Dr.Mukherjee had won the deserved Pulitzer Prize. They celebrated the book, highlighting the fact that it had been written by an Indian, with interviews of his family and school teachers in New Delhi and so on. Dr Mukherjee is also seriously good looking, and I heard, he is doing a role in a Bollywood film. I even know he has celebrity friends like Salman Rushdie. Continue reading The Teleology of Gilded Clinics: Mohan Rao