The Lounge Chair Interview: 10 Questions with Usha K. R.

By Monideepa Sahu

20151215_185901Let’s get down to brass tacks. Why do you write?

To make sense of the world; to explore and order to my thoughts and feelings and understanding of it. Or to quote Flannery O’ Connor who said fiction is concerned ‘with that is lived; ultimate mystery as we find it embodied in the concrete world of sense experience’.

Tell us about your most recent book or writing project. What were you trying to say or achieve with it?

It’s still gestating

Describe your writing aesthetic.

Lots of idle thinking time to allow thoughts to gather and connections to form. Then, when I am ready, a disciplined writing schedule.

Who are your favorite authors?

All of Jane Austen, some of Edith Wharton, Henry James, E M Forster …

What’s the most challenging piece of writing you’ve attempted? Tell us why.

That which is to come

What’s your idea of bliss?

A morning that begins with a cup of filter coffee, a good spell of writing where the words on paper are a close approximation of my thoughts – an exact match would make me wonder, and no calls or visits for the rest of the day.

What book/s would you take with you on a three-month retreat in the boondocks?

Lots of crime fiction — literary fiction is meaningless if you aren’t in the thick of things.

Describe your life philosophy. In a sentence.

The longer I live the more I realise how little I know.


Usha K R writes fiction in English. Her novels are ‘Monkey-man’ (2010/ Penguin India), ‘A Girl and a River’ (2007/Penguin India), ‘The Chosen’ (2003/Penguin India) and ‘Sojourn’ (1998/EastWest Books). Her novels have been listed for several awards including the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, the Crossword Award, the Man Asia and the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature. ‘A Girl and a River’ won the Vodafone Crossword Award, 2007. ‘Monkey-man’ was shortlisted for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2012.