A new book on software giant Microsoft Corp., co-authored by Associate Professor Michael Cusumano at the Sloan School and Richard Selby of the University of California at Irvine, has soared to the No. 6 slot on Business Week magazine's best-seller list.Microsoft Secrets-How the World's Most Powerful Software Company Creates Technology, Shapes Markets, and Manages People (Free Press, 1995), "provide[s] a thorough analysis of the whys and wherefores of Microsoft Corp.'s huge success," according to an accompanying review. The result is "a blueprint not only for software companies, but also for any company that's facing fast-paced markets and harrowing competition while managing a nonconformist, high-IQ staff."The ranking, which appears in the November 27 issue, is based on an analysis of unit sales in October at more than 1,000 retail booksellers nationwide that carry a broad selection of books on economics, business and management.
Professor of Writing Anita Desai also has published a new novel, Journey to Ithaca (Alfred A. Knopf), which has been given a glowing review by Jyotsna Sanzgiri of India Currents Magazine.It starts off: "Anita Desai is an accomplished writer: she has written children's books, numerous short stories, and nine novels. She was born in India and is the daughter of a German mother and Indian father. "Her novel Baumgartner's Bombay, published in 1989, explores the complex life of a German Jewish immigrant who has chosen to live in Bombay. She examines his assimilation and non-assimilation into Bombay's urban life with a clarity and lack of sentimentality that very few authors achieve."She continues to examine these cross-cultural paradoxes at a more intensely spiritual level in her most recent novel."Desai's vibrant novel has no simplistic endings. A resonant, reflective spiritual force pervades the entire work, as if Anita Desai herself is writing from a place of new resolutions."Desai's admirers will undoubtedly have many opportunities to enjoy her work. Her 1984 novel, In Custody, was made into a film by Merchant-Ivory Productions. Several novels of hers were short-listed for England's prestigious Booker Prize. Her emphatic interpretation of radically different belief systems deepens our consciousness about ways to integrate diverse cosmologies."
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on December 6, 1995.