September 29, 2023


Connecting Asian writers with global readers

Crafting Happiness: Amitava Kumar on Akhil Sharma

1 min read

A writer is not his books, says Amitava Kumar. He is only as good as his sentences. Reading and meeting Akhil Sharma proves his point: Indian Quarterly

akhil_sharmaAt the beginning of Akhil Sharma’s new book, Family Life, there is a description of the narrator’s father outside their two-room barsaati on a rooftop in Delhi. The bathroom has a sink attached to the outside wall. Here is the sentence I want to share with you: “Each night my father would stand before the sink, the sky full of stars, and brush his teeth till his gums bled.”

Upon reading that sentence, I have stepped into the world of Akhil Sharma’s writing. Simple words, simple phrases; but there is nothing simple about the world being described. There are the stars, and there is blood—in the same breath, we have both beauty and death.

You need to be logged in to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us