Friday, February 25, 2011

Another Arundhati Roy interview

I don’t really do research in order to write. Finding out about things, figuring out the real story—what you call research—is part of life now for some of us. Mostly just to get over the indignity of living in a pool of propaganda, of being lied to all the time, if nothing else.

In Guernica,Amitav Kumar interviews Arundhati Roy.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Why China has no great writers now

"Why is contemporary China short of works that speak directly? Because we writers cannot speak directly, or rather we can only speak in an indirect way Why does contemporary China lack good works that critique our current situation? Because our current situation may not be critiqued. We have not only lost the right to criticise, but the courage to do so; Why is modern China lacking in great writers? Because great writers are castrated while still in the nursery.

Monday, February 21, 2011

H.M. Naqvi interview

Q:Of late, one is noticing a reverse brain drain to Pakistan with well established writers coming back home, and making Pakistan their place of residence: Daniyal Mueenuddin, Mohsin Hamid and Hanif besides you. Is it something about the home country that is attracting the writers back, a kind of nostalgia or the feeling of being an outsider in the West?

A:I don't have empirical data on the matter. I can, however, speak for myself. I returned because I had no money. In any event, there's no place like home. I love Karachi. It's a wonderfully animate city. There are people on the beach at two in morning, traffic at three. You can have breakfast at four – halva, puri – and nihari at five. Moreover, as a writer I wouldn't want to be elsewhere for long. There's a story under every stone.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

How and where do you find material for your books?

Answers from three writers

I find it among people. I find it in tiny rooms and in passenger terminals, in dreams, in books, and in experiences from the past that are the poetry of memories. I find it among the streets in which I grew up. I find it in my senses. Imagination is the extension of experience.
-Lars Saabye Christensen,Norwegian novelist

I don't know. What I know is that there is a certain way of life I have to live in order to be able to write the best I can. It doesn't mean only having enough free time and space, but also trying to avoid everyday stereotypes, traveling, doing adventurous things, experiencing uncertainty. That is what I need. My mind is what matters. Topics and material then come by themselves.
-Petra Hulova,Czech writer

In life, in my memories, in family history, friends' stories, textbooks, newspapers, television, documents, archives. I think it depends more on how you look at things than on the things themselves.
-Jenny Erpenbeck, German writer

Monday, February 14, 2011

Leila Aboulela interview

"And those early years of my life in Sudan are still my bearing and measure. But I went in a different direction. That was my fate."

Leila Aboulela, Sudanese writer, is interviewed at Times Live.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Edna O'Brien interview

"When I read something thrilling or I write a good line. When I have a lovely drink - I drink white wine or champagne. When I'm with someone, usually it's one other person, rather than a crowd, whose intelligence and stimulatingness is great. Because one wants to be both inside one's self and removed from one's self. Those things make me happy.

"Nature makes me happy, even though I live in the city, deliberately; I don't think I have the inner resources to live alone in the country. I wish I knew more about music. I listen to classical music, and sometimes I am bestirred, but language is my first love in the arts, and then painting. I love paintings."

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Saturday, February 5, 2011

A writer's absolute essentials

A dressing gown, a hot water bottle and some whisky if you can procure it

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