Monday, February 05, 2007

Conversations

I came across this interesting bunch of interviews in one of my favourite Indian journals, Tehelka.

The interviews separately feature two writers, Amitava Kumar and Kiran Desai, and one lit agent, I'd say the most famous for Indian writers at least, David Godwin.

I'm just pulling some quotes here from their interviews, and if the quotes pique your interest please go and read the full texts.

Immigration is not a pretty thing: Kiran Desai

There was this realisation that what my generation was going through in America was the same as what my grandparents had gone through in the UK decades earlier. Nothing had changed. Both sides like to see it as different — the US doesn’t like thinking of itself as a colonial power and Indian immigrants try and emphasise how welcome they are, but there is a lot of hypocrisy in that pretence. Immigration is not a pretty thing. It’s often very cruel. It’s just self-preservation to ignore racism in these countries.

The Arundhati Roy effect: David Godwin


I never begrudge any w
riter money or platform. But a much more interesting consequence of Arundhati’s success has been its impact on writing in England. Take Monica Ali. Or even writers from Africa and the Caribbean. It may sound far-fetched, but we are hearing a wider range of voices. The publishing industry has become more open minded as a consequence of Arundhati.



Bihari writers, anyone?: Amitava Kumar

I like Siddharth’s writing because it is daringly original. And Tabish is the better kind of scholar-writer that India somehow seems very good at producing.

But I doubt they would identify with the Biharis who run the kind of website you’re referring to. I certainly don’t.

I don’t write to furnish a better image of a place or a person. Writing for me is a way of finding out what is hidden from the world. All declarations of superiority are also symptoms of real inferiority. I know what is inferior in myself. I want to be honest about it.

1 comment:

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