Monday, June 13, 2005

Watch out Amis, McEwan and all the other big shots!

Watch out Amis, McEwan and all the other big shots! Mr. Dhaliwal is here.

Curious to know who this challenger is? In fact, I too became curious when I read about this London-based guy called Nirpal Singh Dhaliwal. I first read about him in Outlook. The magazine carried the news that Random House is setting shop in India, and it will start it off with a bang: Salman Rushdie's Shalimar the Clown, Mark Tully's provisionally titled The Certainty of Uncertainty and a debut novel by UK-based writer Nirpal Singh Dhaliwal.

Beaten by my curiosity, I looked for Dhaliwal in google and pronto I learnt that his first novel, Tourism, will be published by Vintage next spring. Dhaliwal has also penned a fiery piece in The Times. Here's a sample:

"The truly talented members of Britain’s ethnic minorities don’t want meaningless baubles for work that doesn’t deserve attention; they want to make it in the big league, competing with everyone else. By allocating prizes according to race there’s a danger that not only will true talent be marginalised but also that mediocrity will be rewarded. The woolly sentimentalism of London’s literati made them laud a writer as unremarkable as Zadie Smith to the skies; the same thinking must be why the BBC repeatedly commissions The Kumars at No 42. I cringe whenever I watch that junk, hoping the public doesn’t think that all Asians are as naff and unfunny as they are."

He has even issued a challenge to the literary bigwigs of UK. Savour this:

"I’ve written a novel myself; when it is published next year, I want it to cut the real mustard, not the sentimental treacle of the establishment. I don’t want the marginal recognition that might come with winning the Decibel; I want to go toe-to-toe with Whitey. I want to compete with Amis, McEwan and all the other big shots. And I don’t want a helping hand from anyone."

Packs a punch, right?

For more please go here.


Susan Abraham said...

Zafar, I sent you an email on your gmail account. Did you see it?
Also, I agree wholeheartedly with Daliwal. When a Malaysian journalist/playwright was invited to perform his local play, in the West End recently there was the usual celebratory noises' amongst the others around him. It was for a specific Asian festival.
In today's day and age, I don't think that is anything to shout about. Come the day when we can perform in the West End amongst everyone else on the same merit and be recognised as such, regardless of where we come from, that would be an achievement. That's why too, when I talk about writing for the big time, I don't mean at all anything of international fame and glamorour. That may or may not come as part of an individual's dues.
When I say big time, I mean internationally and being treated as an equal on international terms irregardless of race, skin, nationality and colour.
Zafar, please see your email.

Zafar Anjum said...

Thanks Susan. I have seen your mail and replied.

bibliobibuli said...

I like the guy's attitude and wish him all the best.