Sunday, May 29, 2011

Lit news: Chiki Sarkar new publisher of Penguin India.

The search for a new publisher for Penguin India has come to an end at last with the announcement of Chiki Sarkar, the former Chief Editor of Random House, as publisher. Interestingly, Ms. Sarkar, is the daughter of Aveek Sarkar, who owns Penguin India jointly with Penguin Group.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Do writers read?

When people ask whether I've read this or that book, I've found that a safe answer is, "You know, I don't read, I write." That shuts them up. Although some of the questions come up time and time again: "Have you read Thackeray's novel Vanity Fair?" I ended up giving in and trying to read it, on three different occasions. But I found it terribly dull.
Umberto Eco.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Aminatta Forna interview

"There is an increasing pressure on writers to serve up easily digestible
stories which don't tax readers. There is room for fun and escapism in the act of
reading, sure. But the job of the writer is to do more than simply entertain."

Aminatta Forna has won the 2011 Commonwealth Writers' Prize.

Why do Western publishers like elite and wealthy Indian authors?

Why is it that Salman Rushdie and his elite friends, mostly from the upper middle class or wealthy families and elite schools, hog 90 per cent of the sales and advances granted to Indian authors by Western publishers?

Friday, May 20, 2011

David Albahari Interview

Q:I’m interested in your choice of form. Leeches is basically written in a single paragraph, with no chapter or paragraph breaks. It’s a form you also used in Götz and Meyer. What about it appeals to you?

A: Well, first it’s an homage to the Austrian novelist Thomas Bernhard, who influenced me. I also liked the idea of it visually: when you look at the pages, everything is covered with words. I think writing should be a process of discovery, both for the reader and the writer who should become united in trying to get through this labyrinth. You have to fight with this form to reach the end. Not all readers like it, I’m aware. But I simply don’t want to give up on it.

Serpent's Tail is 25

"Pete Ayrton is perhaps one of the few persons happy to have his name taken as a byword for noir. Noir in all its literary forms: from sinister to subversive, horrific to humorous, profoundly misanthropic to frivolously mischievous. The heterogeneity of Pete's reading habit crosses linguistic boundaries with equal ingenuity."

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Philip Roth wins Man Booker International Prize 2011

Philip Roth wins fourth Man Booker International Prize.

"For more than 50 years Philip Roth's books have stimulated, provoked
and amused an enormous, and still expanding, audience. His imagination has not only recast our idea of Jewish identity, it has also reanimated fiction, and not just American fiction, generally."

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Regional writing Vs writing in English

“When people like the late Dilip Chitre, Arun Kolhatkar wrote in Marathi, the established lot tried to belittle our work saying it didn’t count as literature because we were doing out-of-the box things with form. When we write in English, we are blamed for hogging the limelight."

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Interest in literature goes in waves!

“International interest surrounding literature goes in waves. First it was all about India. I would think it started with Salman Rushdie's Midnight Children. Then came the likes of Vikram Seth, Arundhati Roy and a whole lot of others. Now Pakistani writers are making their mark. You have Hanif, Daniyal Moenuddin, Uzma Aslam, Kamila... Bangladesh's time will come too. There are fine stories waiting to be told.”
- Tahmina Anam

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Gary Shteyngart interview

It’s tough being a writer these days, writing in a slow medium like the novel.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Salman Rushdie interview

Q: Are expatriate writers going to focus more on India now?

A:I think that writers' careers don't go in a straight line, they go in loops. You go back and forth. I've written books about India and then not about India. Then, everybody said you stopped writing about India and then the next book was about India. Then, people said, Oh, you are going to write about India all the time, and the book after it wasn't about it. So you know writers' imagination goes backward and forth and doesn't stick at one place.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Vladimir Sorokin: a literary monster?

In the days of Brezhnev, Andropov, Gorbachev and Yeltsin, I was constantly trying to suppress the responsible citizen in me. I told myself that I was, after all, an artist…. I was influenced by the Moscow underground, where it was common to be apolitical. This was one of our favorite anecdotes: As German troops marched into Paris, Picasso sat there and drew an apple. That was our attitude — you must sit there and draw your apple, no matter what happens around you. I held fast to that principle until I was 50. Now the citizen in me has come to life.”

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