The new spokesman of the Ministry of External Affairs, Vikas Swarup, may be better known to the outside world as the author of Q&A which was turned into Oscar-winning film Slumdog Millionaire. But he has very large shoes to fill in his new avatar and prove his worth to both, the government and to the ever-growing band of journalists covering the foreign ministry.
by Monica Arora
- Paperback: 244 pages
- Publisher: Rupa Publications
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 8129135094
- ISBN-13: 978-8129135094
By far, short stories have been amongst my favourite genres in prose. Capturing a brief anecdote, tale or fable, these pieces of fiction are usually defined by a beginning, climax and an end, and could be with or without a message. Recently, I have been indulging in the work of several Indian short story writers, and my journey continues with A Fistful of Earth and other stories.
Siddhartha Gigoo, the author, a Kashmiri born in Srinagar, sets his tales of poignancy and sadness in his birthplace. What struck me most was the innate sense of loss, despair, profound grief and sorrow that haunt each story. Such is the lilting quality of his mesmerizing prose that even misery appears ennobling and redeeming in these tales. The manner in which Siddhartha has adopted pain and heartache almost reflects a kind of yearning of an unrequited and unhappy soul. This is very relatable, considering that for long, Kashmir has been a metaphor for the suffering and atrocities inflicted upon its paradisaical soil owing to terrorism, fundamentalism and mindless violence, bloodshed and killing of native Kashmiris. Continue reading
Ross Adkin (@ross_adkin) grew up in the north of Scotland and studied South Asian history and languages at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London, and Cambridge. He works as a freelance journalist in Kathmandu.
“Ross is a welcome addition to our network of editors who care about writing in Asia,” said Zafar Anjum, Kitaab’s Editor-in-Chief. “He will keep our readers updated with the latest news and views on Nepal’s writing scene.”
“Ross is part of a growing team of Kitaab’s editors,” he said. “We already have editors-at-large for Pakistan and Myanmar, and we are looking to appoint more editors from other Asian countries such as Malaysia, Hong Kong, Thailand, Indonesia, Japan, etc. We want to have an editor for each Asian country.”
Title: Characters through action
Synopsis: Workshop participants will learn ways and means to create more engaging and well-rounded characters when writing fiction.
Date: Saturday, 11 April 2015
Time: 9.30am -4.30pm
Venue: Seminar Room, Heritage Place, #02-08, 21 Tan Quee Lan Street, Singapore 188108
Workshop fee: $73
Registration Site: http://alap.bookcouncil.sg/courses
Tel: 6848 8297 / 6848 8295 Continue reading
By Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé
Let’s get down to brass tacks. Why do you write?
It’s my attempt to unknot distractions and find intrinsic value.
Tell us about your most recent book or writing project. What were you trying to say or achieve with it?
For Intruder (Ethos Books, 2014) to intrude into bookshelves and have readers conclude for themselves.
Describe your writing aesthetic.
A one-night stand that unexpectedly leads to a serious relationship: brevity, tactility, emotion, surprise, continuity. Continue reading
At the recently concluded literary festival at Aligarh Muslim University, authors dwelt on the changing representation of communal violence in literature – many noticed the stark changes in the depiction of such violence, from the time of Partition to more recent instances. The raw power of Manto, for instance, has been replaced by writing for readers less shocked – communal violence has become almost part of the nation’s “common sense”. Fiction too now reaches out for answers and solutions.
While at the time of Partition, the Muslim was almost solely the communal “Other”, groups like the Pandits of Kashmir and tales from insurgency in Punjab have expanded the number of communities that have experienced such violence. Continue reading
As hundreds of rare books and classics are dusted and neatly placed on the shelves every day, 55-year-old Sharafuddin Ansari Javed looks on wistfully, knowing it to be one of the final acts before the grand clearance.
For, 65 years after throwing open its doors to book lovers in the city, AA Husain and Co. in Abids will shut shop within a week to make way for a swanky multi-storeyed shopping mall. The mall builders have already started tearing down the rear side of the Arastu Trust Complex, a Wakf property which houses the big store, while teary-eyed employees recall the glory days.
The lesson I learnt that day, the one I am trying to pass on to you is that it is all very well to visit literature festivals and go to bookstores in pursuit of the latest popular fiction novel. But does that really qualify you as a literary person? I think we owe a little more to literature than that. What literature wants from us is to be read, cherished and remembered. It is, therefore, a task for anyone who calls themselves an avid reader to visit libraries, revive the culture of sitting there and reading for hours on end and paying classic literature its due.