Award-winn​ing Indian film actress and director, Nandita Das at the launch of the Book “The Best Of Quest”


Laeeq Futehally, Achal Prabhala, Arshia Sattar


The Best of Quest is an anthology that includes the finest essays, poems and short-stories published in Quest, a quarterly of inquiry, criticism and ideas.

Westland Ltd hosted the launch of the book THE BEST OF QUEST – A collection of essays, poems and short-stories from the path-breaking magazine, Quest.


The launch was followed by a discussion between Arshia Sattar, Achal Prabbala, Sheela Masani, S.V. Raju and V.K. Sinha.


Gracing the occasion was Award-winning Indian film actress and director, Nandita Das at the launch of The Best of Quest.

The Best of Quest touches on subjects such as feminism, caste, race which have contemporary relevance. It features some of India’s most respected writers and thinkers, from Kiran Nagarkar and Anita Desai to Ashis Nandy and Nirad Chaudhuri.

About the book:

In 1954, a new magazine appeared out of Bombay with Nissim Ezekiel at its helm, titled Quest (“a quarterly of inquiry, criticism and ideas”) and it went on to live a respectable two decades and some, until Indira Gandhi’s emergency caused it to collapse. Quest was an intellectual rite of passage: many of the boldface names that light up newspapers, magazines, academic journals and even television screens today, first made their mark with a piece in here. The Best of Quest is a collection of some of the most striking essays, poems and stories to have appeared in the pages of the magazine.


In an era not long past, Quest was the sign of the times. But such a sign and such a time it was that reading the magazine now is illuminating in an absolutely contemporary sense. Like its counterparts across the world – Transition in Africa, Encounter in the USA/UK, Quadrant in Australia, and its fellow publication, Imprint in India – Quest was ideologically free-wheeling and stood for “cultural freedom”, a term not free of complication, given the dirty tricks of the cold war. What endures from that era is this: a testament to a time when writers and readers were renaissance people; a time when independent thought reigned supreme.


Release Type: Original

Price: Rs. 695/-

Binding: Paperback

Imprint: Tranquebar Press

Genre: Anthology

Page Extent: 694 pp

Territory: World


About the Author:


Laeeq Futehally is a writer and garden designer. She worked as the Literary Editor of Quest for over twenty years.

Achal Prabhala is a writer and researcher in Bangalore.

Arshia Sattar works with classical Indian literatures and teaches at various institutions across the country.