Sunday, April 29, 2012

How to write a novel like Orhan Pamuk

I began thinking of this novel in the mid-1990s, when I said to myself, I'll buy a house and imagine a family living there and then chronicle their stories, their daily lives from the kitchen to the street, what they do or say and how they live. So I thought I would collect the objects of their ordinary lives and weave these into my story — place them in the hands of the family. I wrote the novel as I bought the objects and I also wanted to write about the making of the museum as part of the novel. I don't know why I did this. But as always, a djinn entered me and I followed my inner footsteps.”

Friday, April 27, 2012

Alain Mabanckou interview

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Literature thrives on risk

Patrick French, well-known historian and writer, has an interesting (kitschy, though) article called Writings On India (and the Foreign Hand on the Keyboard) in today's Hindustan Times.

If you only work in a pointillist way, you lose any interest towards ambition and risk - and literature lives upon, depend upon risk.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Ann Patchett on reading fiction

Reading fiction is important. It is a vital means of imagining a life other than our own, which in turn makes us more empathetic beings. Following complex story lines stretches our brains beyond the 140 characters of sound-bite thinking, and staying within the world of a novel gives us the ability to be quiet and alone, two skills that are disappearing faster than the polar icecaps.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

J K Rowling writes an adult novel!

I thought J.K. Rowling had retired for ever from her writing. Far from it..She now comes back with an adult novel. What hubris! But no doubt her book would sell by the bucketful, given the gargantuan marketing that goes with Rowling products (books).
I suspect in years to come people will make a link between our plump, comfortable, infantilising society and the popularity of Potter.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The challenge of translating 1Q84 together

 JR:1Q84 was so damn long. Sheer stamina was what I needed, above all. I was so grateful when Phil decided to translate the last volume. The editor spent months going through in extreme detail to give it consistency, and there wasn't a huge gap in style because we both kept close to the original.
JPG: Any two translators, like any two writers, are going to have a different style, and it's hard to go beyond that. But the editor did a great job to have the final translation read smoothly.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Rereading as therapy

Rereading is therapy, despite the accompanying dash of guilt, and I find it strange that not everybody does it. Why wouldn't you go back to something good? I return to these novels for the same reason I return to beer, or blankets or best friends.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Alexander Ilichevsky interview

 “I am currently finishing a novel… about why morality collapsed in Russia and how it has shaped my country as it is today. But in fact, it is a tragic kind of ‘love story’”.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Anne Tyler interview

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