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Showing posts from February, 2012

"DESTROYED BY TOO MUCH SMARTNESS"

On Charles Dickens's birthday, his letter about a prospective author's manuscript. OFFICE OF "HOUSEHOLD WORDS," _Monday, June 1st, 1857._ MY DEAR STONE, I know that what I am going to say will not be agreeable; but I rely on the authoress's good sense; and say it, knowing it to be the truth. These "Notes" are destroyed by too much smartness. It gives the appearance of perpetual effort, stabs to the heart the nature that is in them, and wearies by the manner and not by the matter. It is the commonest fault in the world (as I have constant occasion to observe here), but it is a very great one. Just as you couldn't bear to have an ├ępergne or a candlestick on your table, supported by a light figure always on tiptoe and evidently in an impossible attitude for the sustainment of its weight, so all readers would be more or less oppressed and worried by this presentation of everything in one smart point of view, when they know it must hav

The JAIPUR LIT FEST 2012

Was a rather different affair this year. Some differing points of view -- vitriolic, explanatory, celebratory -- and accounts of events, here and here and here and here.  What the media accounts did not care to highlight were the many excellent sessions that did take place despite the problems -- I went to brilliant ones by Jamaica Kincaid, Anna Pavord, Nayanjot Lahiri, Tom Stoppard, Girish Karnad. As always I discovered new writers and came back with their (signed) books. As William Dalrymple's article says, other than the extra security, most visitors perceived nothing out of the ordinary.

THE FOLDED EARTH: PUBLISHING SOON IN THE US

THE FOLDED EARTH is coming out in April 2012 in the US, published by the Free Press, as An Atlas of Impossible Longing was. If you want an early, free copy, there is a giveaway on Goodreads -- have a look here . The giveaway closes in about 3 weeks. Watch this space for the cover... I still haven't seen it, and can hardly wait. The British paperback The Folded Earth has been out in India and the UK for about a year and has had some great reviews -- you can look at excerpts and go to the links here . It was shortlisted for the Hindu Literary Prize and longlisted for the Man Asia Literary Award alongside Haruki Murakami's IQ84 -- I love Murakami's writing so I was delighted to be on a list with him (and almost as pleased that when my book was knocked out in the shortlist, so was his!) The good news about both An Atlas of Impossible Longing and The Folded Earth is that they will soon be out in Arabic, published by Dar al Adab, a Beirut-based press that publishes