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Showing posts from October, 2012

A Small Diamond

" How does a writer compete against the media's invasion of public discourse in all its chattering, hectoring, commercially packaged format?" This is a challenging, but by the same token, very exciting time for the Indian novelist – certainly the Indian novelist who writes in English. In an obvious and easily accessible sense, this has to do with the opening up of the global market. However, there are certain other aspects of this development that have a more direct bearing on the creative situation. The problems of belonging and identity that played such a preponderant role in the first decades – the terrain that was memorably identified by Meenakshi Mukherjee as “ the anxiety of Indianness ” - seem to have lost some of their fascination. It is remarkable, therefore, that two (and arguably, three) of the five novels on our shortlist are set outside India, set as far afield as Guyana and Morocco. This is, unquestionably, a welcome development – Indianness is

The Economist Crossword Prize

The results of the Economist Crossword Prize were announced yesterday.   The Folded Earth won the prize for fiction.  The other books on the shortlist were River of Smoke - Amitav Ghosh Narcopolis - Jeet Thayil The Storyteller of Marrakesh - Joydeep Roy Bhattacharya The Sly Company of People Who Care - Rahul Bhattacharya

I Just Be-s

Just back from the Ubud Festival for Readers and Writers (which is a nice way to name a literary festival)-- came back to find that my piece on moments of wonderment that steal upon you at times when travelling is just out in the NatGeo Traveller. There were a few such moments in Bali -- here is the piece. __________________________ It was rush hour for bats, burglars, owls and party animals: about 2 a.m. I was climbing uphill in deep forest, feeling my way over unfamiliar slopes and rocks. Trees took away most of the sky and from somewhere in the distance came the roar of rushing water. It was the dead of night, yet it wasn’t dark. The light was penumbral, as if it was dawn or dusk—for this was a walk through Norwegian woods in the improbable thing that is a Scandinavian summer. The rushing sound intensified into a roar. It turned out to be a fierce little river crashing over rocks and boulders, throwing up high clouds of spray. A frail, two-foot-wide bridge plunged brave