The Library at Night


Author: Alberto Manguel
Title: The Library at Night
Publisher: Yale University Press
Year of publication: 2006
Place of publication: Canada
Place of purchase: Jaipur
Purchase cost: Rupees 750
Ownership: Firsthand
General comments: The transcription of the inscription is pretty nondescript, the story behind it a lot more memorable. I ignored a deep-rooted distaste for a certain kind of literature festival when I heard Manguel was to be part of the JLF a couple of years ago. He didn’t disappoint one bit, criticizing Amazon (the main sponsor) with quiet glee while sitting under its banner and skillfully disappearing after every session. I happened to simply run into him while this book was on me. That I was even more reticent to engage with him than he with me seemed to encourage him to sign the book and later enthusiastically pose for a photo.The frog’s a linguistic pun- he found my name amusing and was pleasantly surprised when I told him I was in on the joke (my name means little frog in Spanish).
Transcription of inscription:
with best wishes

A. Manguel
Submitted by:
Ranita Ray

Cricket & Beyond

img_20160902_084605-minimg_20160908_093603-minAuthor: Gulu Ezekiel
Title: Cricket & Beyond
Publisher: Ocean Books
Year of publication: 2011
Place of publication: New Delhi
Place of purchase: Bookworm
Rs. 130
Ownership: Second hand
General comments: This copy was a gift from the author to Ramchandra Guha.
Transcription of inscription:
To Ram,
Best wishes,
Gulu E.
Submitted by: Bedbyas Datta

Kangal Malshat


Author: Nabarun Bhattacharya img_20161029_215338
Title: কাঙাল মালসাট (The War-Cry of the Beggars)
Publisher: Saptarshi
Year of publication: 2005 (3rd edition)
Place of publication: Serampore
Place of purchase: Chinsurah
Ownership: Gift; borrowed
General comments: Admin found this in a box of books left behind in the Department of English by Aritra Chakraborti, who recently completed his PhD at JU and moved to Hyderabad. Aritra da said that he had got the book as a present from his father, and got it autographed a couple of years later when he bumped into Nabarun da outside the now-closed Worldview bookstore on campus. Having the book on hand, he asked the author for an autograph; Nabarun da asked him why he wanted such a thing. He would go on to run into the author several times, at Jadavpur 8B, and at the Kolkata Book Fair where Nabarun da once asked him to write an article on Bengali pornography for his magazine Bhashabandhan. Aritra da admits that he never did get around to it.
Transcription of inscription:
বুড়োকে জন্মদিনে–

নবারুণ ভট্টাচার্য

[To the old fellow on his birthday–

Good wishes
Nabarun Bhattacharya
Submitted by: Aritra Chakraborti, via Shalmi Barman

Lola Rose


Author: Jacqueline Wilson   img_20160918_142442
Title: Lola Rose
Publisher: Doubleday
Year of publication: 2003
Place of publication: Great Britain
Place of purchase: Book Tuk, Kolkata
Purchase cost: Rupees 60
Ownership: Secondhand
General comments: I bought Lola Rose from a secondhand book store some time in August. I have been reading children’s books as a 20 year old to understand how adults read and receive children’s literature and so far, this personal project has been very interesting. As a part of the same project, I had also read Jacqueline Wilson’s The Illustrated Mum and I have come to greatly appreciate her literary works.
Anyway, so I open this copy of Lola Rose and on the first page it is signed, “Love, Jacqueline Wilson”. So obviously I freaked out and went online to Google her signature. And turns out that the signature on my copy is INDEED authentic and I had thus come to possess a signed copy of her book, albeit unwittingly.
Transcription of inscription:
To fiona

Jacqueline Wilson

Submitted by: Sayari Debnath

The Great Derangement


Author: Amitav Ghosh
Title: The Great Derangement
General comments: Amitav Ghosh inspired me to study social anthropology when I first read In an Antique Land, and has been our favourite author since the three of us read The Hungry Tide. Only fair that we co-own a book written by him now, which sheds light on climate change and what it means in the context of power, politics and poverty.
Transcription of inscription:
for Mrinalini, Sucheta & Reeti.

Amitav Ghosh (signature)
Submitted by: Reeti Roy

Haveth Childers Everywhere


Author: James Joyce
Title: Haveth Childers Everywhere
Publisher: Criterion Miscellany
Year of publication: 1931
Purchase cost: 1 shilling
Ownership: Not in ownership; seen in James Joyce Tower and Museum
General comments: This book was on display at the James Joyce Tower and Museum in Sandycove, Dublin, along with a fascinating collection of pictures, letters, illustrations, photographs, and all manner of things Joycean. According to the information card, Anna Livia Plurabelle and Haveth Childers Everywhere, both from the Criterion Miscellany (1930 and 1931), are ‘[t]wo fragments from Work in Progress, one of which is inscribed by Joyce to Samuel Beckett, who was his friend and helper. Joyce spent some time in London in 1931 arranging his marriage. Given to the Joyce Tower by Samuel Beckett, 1982.’
Transcription of inscription:
Samuel Beckett
with thanks for his help
James Joyce

Submitted by: Shalmi Barman

The Years of Bloom


Author: John McCourtIMG_0528
Title: The Years of Bloom: James Joyce in Trieste 1904-1920
Publisher: The Lilliput Press
Year of publication: 2001
Place of publication: Dublin
Place of purchase: Trieste
Ownership: Firsthand
General comments: Paperback, xi, 306p, illustrated with photographs. Bought during the 19th annual Trieste Joyce School in the summer of 2015. This was my first trip outside India, and one of the most intellectually and emotionally stimulating holidays that I’ve ever had. The Italian phrase quoted by the author in the inscription translates to “in our beautiful Trieste” and is a paraphrase from a letter written by James Joyce to Nora Barnacle from Dublin: “La nostra bella Trieste! I have often said that angrily but tonight I feel it true. I long to see the lights twinkling along the Riva as the train passes Miramar. After all, Nora, it is the city which has sheltered us. I came back to it jaded and moneyless after my folly in Rome and [will]now again after this absence.” (September 1909, source:
Transcription of inscription:


‘The Canale Grande, leading to the steps of the Church of Sant’Antonio Taumaturgo’

Trieste, June-July 2015
19th Annual Joyce School

To Shalmi—

Delighted to make your friendship here “nella nostra bella Trieste”

John McCourt
Submitted by: Shalmi Barman

Romancing With Life


Author: Dev Anandimage2
Title: Romancing With Life: An Autobiography
Publisher: Penguin Viking
Year of publication: 2007
Place of publication: New Delhi
Ownership: Gift
Transcription of dedication/inscription:
With good wishes,
Dev Anand
Submitted by: Sourjya Mitra

Conversations in Bloomsbury

Scanned from a Xerox Multifunction Device001

Author: Mulk Raj AnandScanned from a Xerox Multifunction Device
Title: Conversations in Bloomsbury
Publisher: Arnold-Heinemann
Year of publication: 1981
Place of publication: New Delhi
Ownership: See below
General comments: This is a first edition published in Delhi. You will notice that it is inscribed by Anand himself (signed ‘Uncle Mulk’) as he describes this book as the echoes of a troubled past. It was a gift to Krishan Gould (from the ex libris sticker), who was an actor and a television producer for the BBC One show Asian Magazine in the 1980s, which was a show that focussed on the South Asian diaspora in Britain.Scanned from a Xerox Multifunction Device002

The book now belongs to Anouk Lang, one of my lecturers at the University of Edinburgh. One of my other lecturers, Olga Taxidou, first showed us this book. She and Anouk both teach a course on Global Modernisms, and Anand’s Conversations was one of the texts on the course. Olga happened to buy this copy on-line and discovered it was inscribed by Anand. She showed it to us in class, and later presented it to Anouk because she was the one who was really keen on him.
Transcription of inscription:
Krishan Gould
dear friend:

these are echoes of a troubled past.
with warm regards
Uncle Mulk
New Delhi: 1986

[The printed dedication page in the 3rd image says: “Study is a serious form of gossip”–E.M. Forster]
Submitted by: Vivek Santayana



Author: Michael Moorcock
Publisher: Victor Gollancz
Place of publication: LondonWP_20151017_09_43_14_Pro
Year of publication: 1989
Place of purchase: Cambridge
Price of purchase: 4.99 GBP
Ownership: Firsthand
General comments: Purchased in Heffers Cambridge on 5 February 1994, during a book signing by Moorcock and David Wingrove (co-ed. Trillion Year Spree).
Transcription of inscription:
To Abhijit,
I’m very happy to have met you. Thanks for the article.
Yours, Michael M.
Cambridge, 5th Feb. 94
Submitted by: Abhijit Gupta