July 25, 2021

KITAAB

Connecting Asian writers with global readers

Are publishers in India killing literature with formulaic fiction?

1 min read

HopeFactoryLavanya Sankaran’s aptly named first novel The Hope Factory is the latest in formulaic fiction from the Subcontinent, says Devika Bakshi in Open.

The point at which a novel set in India resorts to the descriptive crutch of spices is usually the point at which I begin sliding into a familiar despair. In Lavanya Sankaran’s The Hope Factory, that point arrives—amid a flurry of other clichés—rather early, in the outrageously unoriginal sentence: ‘The air was redolent with spices.’ As a result, the majority of my relationship with the novel has been one of resistance—my resistance to reading it. I couldn’t get through it.

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