English August has finally quit the civil services. Upamanyu Chatterjee, whose semi-autobiographical novel English, August: An Indian Story (1988), about young IAS recruit Agastya Sen, is a cult classic, has retired from the government, three years before his tenure ends. He was with the President’s protocol office during much of Pratibha Patil’s reign and his last posting was with the petroleum ministry. “Now I am a full-time writer,” he says in his endearing, deadpan manner. Chatterjee is in the middle of writing a book of short stories.
Arundhati Roy met whistle-blower Edward Snowden along with actor John Cusack last year. Their conversations, part of which Outlook published exclusively in November 2015 as