Sunday, October 30, 2016

SHADOWLAND: Publishing Notes

Done with final proof read. Adhir will come this week to take back proof.

So I had another read of my upcoming novel "Shadowland" - after about sixteen years.

Still readable and relevant.


Reading Don Delillo's Mao II. It's about a reclusive author who has been writing a book for twenty six years and is now sitting over it. Just two days ago I had stopped publishing my novel after 71 installments as the book had burnt me out. I was so sick of writing. So we share more or less the same kind of problem.

I find the book therapeutic for me at my present state of being.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Thursday, October 27, 2016

I'm publishing a novel on Medium - a new chapter every single day. It's my Day 70.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

I'm publishing a novel on Medium - one new chapter every single day. It's my Day 69.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

I'm publishing a novel on Medium - one new chapter every single day. It's my Day 68

Monday, October 24, 2016

I'm publishing a novel on Medium - one new chapter every single day. It's my day 67.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

I'm publishing a novel on Medium - a new chapter every single day. It's my Day 66.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

I'm publishing a novel on Medium- a new chapter every single day. It's my Day 65.

Friday, October 21, 2016

I'm publishing a novel on Medium - a new chapter every single day. It's my Day 64.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

I'm publishing a novel on Medium - a new chapter every single day. It's my Day 63.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

I'm publishing a novel on Medium - a new chapter every single day. It's my Day 62.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

I'm publishing a novel on Medium, a new chapter every single day. It's my Day 61.

Monday, October 17, 2016

I'm publishing a novel on Medium - a new chapter every single day. It's my Day 60.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

I'm publishing a novel on Medium - a new chapter every single day. It's my Day 59

Saturday, October 15, 2016

I'm publishing a novel on Medium - a new chapter every single day. It's my Day 58

Friday, October 14, 2016

I'm publishing a novel on Medium - a new chapter every single day. It's my Day 57

Thursday, October 13, 2016

I'm publishing a novel on Medium - a new chapter every single day. It's my Day 56.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

I'm publishing a novel on Medium - a new chapter every single day. It's my Day 55.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

I'm publishing a novel on Medium - a new chapter every single day. It's my Day 54

Monday, October 10, 2016

I'm publishing a novel on Medium - a new chapter every single day. It's my day 53.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

I'm publishing a novel on Medium - a new chapter every single day. It's my Day 51

Friday, October 7, 2016

I'm publishing a novel on Medium - a new chapter every single day. It's my Day 50.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

I'm publishing a novel on Medium, a new chapter every single day. It's Day 49.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

I'm publishing a novel on Medium - a new chapter every single day. It's Day 48.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

I'm publishing a novel on Medium, a new chapter every single day. This is my Day 47

Monday, October 3, 2016

Read: Serendipity and After/46

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Read: Serendipity and After/45

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Read Serendipity and after/44

Thursday, September 22, 2016

READ: Serendipity and After/35

Monday, September 19, 2016

READ: Serendipity and After/32

Sunday, September 18, 2016

READ: Serendipity and After/31

Saturday, September 17, 2016

READ: Serendipity and After/30

Serendipity and After/30
a novel about publishing of a novel

Friday, September 16, 2016

Read: Serendipity and After/29

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Read Serendipity and After/28

Serendipity and After/28
a novel about publishing of a novel

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Read my ongoing novel on Medium

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

A Novel about a Novel

I'm publishing a whole novel on Medium in installments. It's a novel about publishing of a novel. Obviously, the idea hit me in the wake of my first novel being accepted by a great publisher.  Shit, I forgot to write about it here in my blog, a serious lapse on my side, but that's me, my habit of keeping dumb when I should be actually shouting out.

Yesterday I wrote my fifth installment. And now I feel a bit exhausted. I'm a minimalist by nature, but these past few days I've knocked out 800 or so words regularly. This naturally takes its toll on my body and mind. I want to take a deep breath now. I need to take a second wind.

The following is a list of chapters arranged sequentially in case you've not read it or just want to take a look.

Publishing of a novel
 (How I got my book deal for my novel which I wrote back in 2000)

Serendipity and After/2
(An editor's dilemma)

Serendipity and After/3
(Editor-publisher face-off)

Serendipity and After/4
(How things get sorted out and the publishing house embraces peace at last)

Serendipity and After/5
(About a Facebook post in which I was tagged)

As a writer, I'm curious what the readers think about this novel and how their reading experience is. So, please come in with your feedback. I will appreciate them. Thanking you.

Monday, August 15, 2016

How to Write a Sex Scene

If you want to write an excellent sex scene, you have to liberate it from the idea of a sex scene. Like I was saying before about violence, you have to thread sexuality through every part of a character or a person's life, rather than limiting it to a titillating few pages where something juicy happens. You have to understand that sexuality is omnipresent in your body — your entire life.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Is it good fiction?

Yesterday I posted a critique of a short fiction by Oliver Shiny on Medium. Please do read it if you have time, and weigh in with your comments on my critique. 

Friday, August 5, 2016

George Saunders Quotes

I’ve always – always – thought of myself as a fiction writer with comic inclinations. 

I’m a fiction writer. I use any- and everything I need to get certain effects that I’d describe as ‘emotional effects’ – to do the good old aesthetic work that stories do. 

do whatever it takes. Steer toward the energy. Don’t worry about being edgy or not being edgy or being soppy – if the emotion of the story is real and earned, it sort of retroactively justifies whatever form you’ve used.

What’s going to make my work vital and new is my taste, applied maniacally, over sufficient time.

I really want to play, and discover the internal dynamics of the story – find out, via intuition, what thrills the story wants to deliver.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Mahasweta gun-saluted!

Yesterday on TV I saw the state gun-saluting Mahasweta Devi's body as a mark of its ultimate respect to the great writer and activist.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Mahasweta Devi passes away at 91

Mahasweta Devi, the Bengali writer  who was the "Mother Courage" of Bengal and devi of the marginalized and the dispossessed, died yesterday at 91 leaving a legacy no one can match. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

8 Essential Attributes of a short story / Joy Williams

1) There should be a clean clear surface with much disturbance below 

2) An anagogical level

3) Sentences that can stand strikingly alone

4) An animal within to give its blessing

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Recommended Reading: When Will Helen DeWitt be recognized as one of the Great American Novelists?

When Will Helen DeWitt be Recognized As one of the Great American Novelists?

“The self is a set of linguistic patterns,” she said. “Reading and speaking in another language is like stepping into an alternate history of yourself where all the bad connotations are gone.”

Friday, July 8, 2016

Language in Literature

"Even though we should always strive to renew the language, that renewal can and should use words from other times and from other spaces to better express this new version of human events. Literature has to dig into uncomfortable vocabularies to find new ways of expression."

--Yuri Herrera

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Who reads Norman Mailer these days?

"Where is Norman Mailer? Who reads Norman Mailer? Who thinks about Norman Mailer? People who have been celebrity writers, they become societal documents of their era. In that way Kerouac, Mailer, Ginsberg —"

Monday, July 4, 2016

Elie Wiesel Quote

  • "I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented." (The Nobel Peace Prize speech, 1986)

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Cynthia Ozick on Next American Great Novel or Novelist

"..can we see any inkling of a presumptive heir 

to Bellow or Updike orNabokov, or to so many others of 

the previous generation (the list would be long and 

impressive) who have left a formative mark on American 


Thursday, June 23, 2016

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Excerpt from a review of Zero K /Don DeLillo

"Like the philosophy of the older Heidegger, DeLillo’s is a heightening of the acts of naming and making art and poetry. If anything can save us, it’s art. And yet art’s being escapes its naming. And in what may quite possibly be his final novelistic effort, Don DeLillo has worked out a contentment with the fact that life’s highest cause for reverence is finally, is merely, just such a static escape."

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Don't writers want to be remembered for their work now?

"All I am providing is a form of entertainment. I don’t demand that readers remember me, or that they remember the content of every story, as long as they enjoy my novels and get happiness from them." 

The inevitable question now is: don't we writers want to be remembered for our work? Is it only about the present? Is it only about cash and short-lived fame? Is it the prevalent writerly attitude now?

Sunday, June 5, 2016

What is a story about?

"Any story is about a host of things. It is about the author; it is about the world the author sees and deals with and lives in;

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Jay Williams Quote

Good writing never soothes or comforts.
--Jay Williams

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Recommended reading: Middle Eastern Writers Find Refuge in Dystopian Novel

Friday, May 27, 2016

Can Xue writes for two or three decades in the future

In another 20 years, when they encounter problems spiritually, or when materialism cannot meet their needs, they might pick up one of my books, because I write to empower people, to make them independent, to develop their qualities as human beings.

Can Xue on Can Xue

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Read this excerpt from Svetlana Alexievich's book "Secondhand Time."

I had problem with my laptop. So, in stead of working on my new novel - this is my first thing to do in the morning these days --I read this excerpt by Svetlana Alexievich. Oh, how intriguing! Hers is a special genre, and I can't say I like it always. As for example, I could not finish her Voices From Chernobyl. It's way too grim and morbid, though necessarily, for my taste. But this one I liked very much.  She can write something compelling on modern, capitalistic way of life also. Read it and take note of her brilliance and objectivity. 

Sunday, May 15, 2016

No to Literary Fiction, Yes to Porn

I've spent years writing books. Novels, no less. And for what? I'm turning my hand to the one thing that pays. Sex.

Lydia Millet

Ever since I read Lydia Millet's article in the Salon, I have been thinking about the shape of literature and plight of writers in this digital age.. So when does a serious writer of literary fiction want to write porn? Is the situation really that bad? Did she write this piece out of frustration or desperation? Is she really going to churn out a porn next time? 

I wish she had not written it. It's shocking for those of us who write literary fiction. Of course, lit fiction has small audience and its authors earn peanuts from their writing. But what's the use of talking about it in this way? If you don't want to write lit fic, it's okay. If you want to leave it for porn, go for it. It's your taste, your choice.

Money seems to be your main concern, Lydia.  We have sympathy for you, but porn is never the alternative for lit fic, even if you make money out of it (I strongly doubt it though) and you undermine the value of literature by stating this. This is atrocious and shameful.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Future of Literature

"The shortening of attention spans have been abetted by a publishing industry that is eradicating from literature anything they want to make us believe is too boring, or too meaningful, or that might come across as intellectual. And the outlook, from a literary point of view—if such a point of view still exists—is bleak.

“And why is it that writers, more than other people, are susceptible to depression?” someone asks in a Mario Levrero story. And someone else says: “They become depressed because they can’t tolerate the idea of living in a world that has been ruined by stupid people.”

Thursday, May 5, 2016

This very professional, shiny, happy plastic version of literature

"I find MFA culture terrible. Everyone is super-cheerful because they’re trying to sell you something, and I find it really repulsive. There seems to be less and less underground. And what it’s replaced by is this very professional, shiny, happy plastic version of literature."
--Jessa Crispin

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Geoff Dyer on writing

And it is, in some way, easier to write about dissatisfaction, but I’d hate to be one of those writers who is always going to take the piss out of other people or to deride things because that seems to me a lower order of response. What I really want to be able to do is to articulate some sort of awe and wonder, which is what so many of the writers I really like do — like Dillard and Lawrence. I hate to be just trapped at that level of being inhibited by only being funny or even worse, being a sort of satirist. Ultimately, I want to be able to articulate that sense of wonder. And hopefully all the funny stuff, and the moaning and groaning, ends up enhancing that final and elusive sense of either wonder or arrival.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Are Franz Kafka's books still unavailable in Russia?

In the Soviet Union you will not find Franz Kafka's books. They say he is the apostle of baleful metaphysics. However, I think he could be Stalin's best biographer.” wrote Gabriel Garcia Marquez in 1957.

What's the situation like in Putin's Russia?

Is Franz Kafka still banned there?

Are Franz Kafka's books still unavailable in Russia?

Just curious. 

I'll appreciate any feedback from visitors of this blog.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

All of us are hungry for print...

Most authors now who are being published online—almost all of us—have all had the experience of being flamed in the comments section. And all of us are hungry for print, that sense not of permanence but of the attempt at permanence that print suggests, the durability it suggests. I think that’s how all writers write: They try to be eternal, they try to be durable and when something’s published in print, it’s a way of honoring that attempt.

--John Freeman

Monday, February 22, 2016

Literature is a perverse game...

Literature is a perverse game because it’s too easy to say that the teller pretends that Little Red Riding Hood or Madame Bovary or Anna Karenina is a fiction. Step by step, I want you to lose your critical control and start crying about the fate of Anna Karenina. But then I know that once you finish reading the book, you come back to reality and at the second reading you don’t cry any longer but simply appreciate the way in which I obliged you to cry the first time. That is the perverse literary game. Simonini is more cruel. He wants you to believe. He doesn’t want to show his inner strategy. The writer desires that you discover my strategy. Simonini, no. Every forger wants to be taken seriously.
--Umberto Eco in a 2011 interview.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Umberto Eco, philosopher who wrote novels over weekends, passes away at 84

"To believe in the end of something is a typical cultural posture. Since the Greeks and the Latins we have persisted in believing that our ancestors were better than us. I am always amused and interested by this kind of sport, which the mass media practice with increasing ferocity.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Recommended Reading: Sine Cosine Tangent by Don DeLilo

The New Yorker has a no- plot wonderful story by Don DeLilo, which ends with

Ordinary moments make the life. This was what she knew to be trustworthy, and this was what I learned, eventually, from those years we spent together. No leaps or falls. I inhale the little drizzly details of the past, and know who I am. What I failed to know before is clearer now, filtered up through time, an experience belonging to no one else, not remotely, no one, anyone, ever. I watch her use the roller to remove lint from her cloth coat. Define “lint,” I tell myself. Define “time,” define “space.” 

Monday, February 8, 2016

Literature always matters...

"Literature always matters, whether people read it or not. It is a witness account; it is a document that is going to outlast you, that’s going to live there for a long time. That’s why it matters.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Recommended Reading: Everything About Everything: David Foster Wallace’s ‘Infinite Jest’ at 20

Most great prose writers make the real world seem realer — it’s why we read great prose writers. But Wallace does something weirder, something more astounding: Even when you’re not reading him, he trains you to study the real world through the lens of his prose. Several writers’ names have become adjectivized — Kafkaesque, Orwellian, Dickensian — but these are designators of mood, of situation, of civic decay. The Wallaceian is not a description of something external; it describes something that happens ecstatically within, a state of apprehension (in both senses) and understanding. He didn’t name a condition, in other words. He created one.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Thursday, February 4, 2016

What Intizar Husain said 23 years ago about himself and literature

The WIRE has published a 1993 interview with Intizar Husain, the great Pakistani writer, who died on Feb 2, 2016. How relevant even today after long 23 years!

I like to see myself as part of the great tradition to which Amir Khusro, Nizamuddin Aulia, and Dara Shukoh as much as Rahim, Raskhan and Jayasi belong. This tradition is as much Hindu as it is Muslim. My stories are a struggle against religious fundamentalism, against mullahism.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Intizar Husain, great Pakistani writer, passes away

Sunday, January 24, 2016

They said it in Jaipur Litfest 2016

The novel includes many matters without excluding anything. [...] It remains a hybrid form; there is no single way to read or write a novel. 
Colm Toibin

Saturday, January 23, 2016

A moralist, but not a moraliser

“I’m a moralist but not a moraliser. I’m very interested in how and why people act as they do, but I don’t as a novelist ever try to tell people how to behave.”
--Julian Barnes

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Yann Martel's Compromises and Drafts

Compromises? Hundreds. Drafts? Dozens. I suppose there are some modern-day Jane Austens who write finished polished prose in which only a word or two is changed here and there. I ain’t one of those writers. I’m a messy, untutored blunderer. I might have been left to my ways if it hadn’t been for the bizarre success of Life of Pi, which—among many other consequences—brought me to the attention of many fine, sharp-minded editors.

An article I published on Medium in response to an invite

I write because…

I’ve never really thought about why I write.

I hate entertaining somebody with my writing. I like to see writers as thinkers, visionaries, futurists, social reformers, even activists — but never as entertainers. You write to entertain me, you lose my respect.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Information and Literature

"In my books, I try to use every channel of information possible, keeping in mind that information is not what is most important in literature, meaning is.” 

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

In the beginning was the Word

"Word invokes existence, it matures a man, it carries a man to something great and valiant, it makes a man dream, and drives a man to much humanity."


Monday, January 11, 2016

Writing at the age of 80

"I’m not an opera person at all, but I think of Verdi, for example, as someone who was writing at the age of 80 work comparable to what he was doing 50 years earlier.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

"I want people who can make magic" / Gordon Lish

I want people who can make magic. That’s what the job at hand is. To take the elements of the language, to take these tarnished and exhausted entities, and to cause them to move in a way they’ve never moved otherwise. To imbue them with movement through the particular imposition of one’s will, one’s desire.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

When moral police stalks a writer

"Literature remains an unpredictable dialectic between the public and the private, the alien and the familiar, the individual and the collective; individual literary works may have elements of idiosyncrasy that may not always satisfy the conventions we have historically set up through social contracts that make the state, or those which evolve to define communities. Even so, literature exists in continuity with life, not in opposition to it.

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