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Showing posts from August, 2016


One evening in 2007, just as I was sitting down to dinner in Delhi, my then-brand-new publisher phoned from London. In the marvelously parenthetical, elliptical manner that was to become familiar to me over the next few years, he began talking of symphonies. Had I considered, he wanted to know, how symphonies are structured? “Not really? Well, as it happens . . .” After around ten minutes of his apparently aimless lecture on music, my interrupted dinner stone cold, the penny dropped: On the brink of publication, he wanted me to rethink my opening chapter.  (Read it here in Catapult) After I hung up, I returned to my plate of congealed food in silence. My husband and I were to drive up to our hill home at dawn—a holiday to celebrate the end of my endless first novel. And now at the eleventh hour this bombshell about the opening chapter. Even a novice knows that changing an opening chapter is rather more difficult than changing a concluding chapter because it means having to look a