Tag Archives: Anuradha Roy

The Lounge Chair Interview: 10 Questions with Swati Sengupta

By Aminah Sheikh


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

I write because I have stories to tell. Because I want to tell these stories in a particular way. Some characters, and a vague, blurry indication of their predicament just pop up inside my head and I have no idea how they got there. Together, my characters and I, we embark on this journey to find out. This entire process – unpleasant at times but mostly exciting – provides me with the rush of air that keeps me going.

Sometimes though, I meet my characters in the real world. I may have heard about them from someone, so I go and meet them and find out their stories. I am talking about my non-fiction and reportage work here.

Basically, I am quiet, introverted and a loner. There’s silence all around me. Writing helps me to survive because I can’t talk much. I like to dwell in my own world in the company of my books, very few people I can relate to, and, the only way I am able to give vent to what’s buzzing inside my head is through the written words – whether it is published or what remains in the closet.

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

My recent book, Out of War (non-fiction), published by Speaking Tiger Books, is about the narratives of surrendered CPI (Maoist) cadres. I spent two years travelling through different parts of India – Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal. I located them, talked to them for hours, and I’ve remained in touch with many for four years now. I tried to understand their lives and stories. In my book, I look at the Maoist movement, its successes and failures, the passions and sacrifices, through the struggles of individuals – their individual needs, personal longings, sufferings and self-respect.

How do these foot-soldiers themselves view the Maoist movement? Is the movement free from hierarchies and compromise? Are the soldiers free to visit their parents, partners, children? What about those that trust the police with the promise of a safe life and opt out? I visited their homes, heard their stories – stories of abuse, poverty, suffering, hurt, deceit, joy, love…

I worked hard to get these stories. The research was also emotionally taxing for me. It wrung out all my energy. These people and their stories deeply influenced me. Now I know why people turn to the Maoists for support, I know why they become Maoist cadres.

Professionally, I’ve achieved only that much – I’ve written the book, pouring my heart into it.

But personally, I’ve achieved much more. Without expecting to. It was incidental. There was a time when I worked full-time with a reputed newspaper, earned a fairly decent salary and felt happy about certain material comforts. I quit my job to write this book, but the cravings for material things had remained. Bit by bit, in the last four years that I worked on this book, the attachment to material things has gone, and I hope for good.

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Man Booker prize 2016: Paul Beatty’s win and what is means for writers


The Man Booker Prize is considered to be one of the most-coveted literary awards for British and post-colonial novels (from countries that gained independence from Britain in the 19th and 20th centuries). But after a rule change in 2014, Britain’s richest writing prize now allows authors of any nationality to be eligible for the award. On October 25, Paul Beatty became the first American to be awarded the Booker for his satirical novel, The Sellout.

In fact, last year, US author Joshua Ferris’s To Rise Against At A Decent Hour was also on the list. However, closer home, Anuradha Roy’s Sleeping on Jupiter missed the shortlist this year. Here, we speak to several authors about the broadening of the prize and its impact on a global audience. Read more

Tahmima Anam, Anuradha Roy and Eka Kurniawan make it to the fiction longlist of 2016 FT/OppenheimerFunds Emerging Voices Awards


Tahmima Anam

Tahmima Anam

OppenheimerFunds and the Financial Times announced the longlists for the 2016 FT/OppenheimerFunds Emerging Voices Awards on Thursday.

Artists from emerging-market nations as defined by the World Bank Atlas Method are eligible for awards in three categories: Art, Fiction, and Film. The longlists of 10 artists in each category were selected from more than 797 entries from 64 emerging-market countries.

The competition was open to artists from emerging-market nations for awards in the following categories

  1. Africa and the Middle East – painting, drawing, sculpture, installation, mixed media – 393 entries received from 35 countries
  2. Asia-Pacific – works of fiction published in English – 156 entries, 14 countries;
  3. Latin America and the Caribbean – films in any language with English subtitles – 248 entries; 15 countries.

A shortlist will be announced on August 5, and winners will be announced at a gala awards ceremony in New York City on September 26, which all shortlisted artists will be invited to attend. Winners will receive a $40,000 prize, and two runners-up per category will receive $5,000.

“I am once again humbled by the quality of submissions we received from these outstanding artists around the globe,” said Justin Leverenz, Director of Emerging Market Equities at OppenheimerFunds and Founder of the Emerging Voices Awards. “I am honored to be a part of something that highlights their work and showcases this talent.”

The 2015 winners were Cristina Planas for her works Vultures, Table of Negotiations, Mass Grave, Coloured Christ (Art, Peru), Chigozie Obioma for The Fishermen (Fiction, Nigeria), and Yuhang Ho for Trespassed (Film, Malaysia).

The longlists are:

Art – Africa and the Middle East:

Noor Abuarafeh (Jordan)

Victor Ehikhamenor (Nigeria)

Aicha Filali (Tunisia)

Naomi Wanjiku Gakunga (Kenya)

Ilan Godfrey (South Africa)

Eddy Kamuanga Ilunga (Congo Dem. Rep.)

Syowia Kyambi (Kenya)
Emo de Medeiros (Benin)
Gareth Nyandoro (Zimbabwe)
Abel Tilahun (Ethiopia)

Fiction – Asia-Pacific:

The Bones of Grace by Tahmima Anam, Canongate Books (Bangladesh / UK)

Home by Leila S. Chudori, Deep Vellum Publishing (Indonesia)

The Seventh Day by Yu Hua, Pantheon Books (China)

The Tusk That Did the Damage by Tania James, Harvill Secker (India / USA)

Man Tiger by Eka Kurniawan, Verso Books (Indonesia)

The Four Books by Yan Lianke, Chatto & Windus (China)

The Association of Small Bombs by Karan Mahajan, Chatto & Windus (India / USA)

Sleeping on Jupiter by Anuradha Roy, MacLehose Press (India)

Reckless by Hasan Ali Toptas, Bloomsbury Publishing (Turkey)

Crystal Wedding by Xu Xiaobin, Balestier Press (China)

Film – Latin America and the Caribbean:

Wifi by Douglas Alonzo (Honduras)

Solon by Clarissa Campolina (Brazil)

Olia by Tania Cattebeke (Paraguay)

History of Abraim by Otavio Cury (Brazil)

When the Sun Rises by Santiago Eguia (Paraguay)

3:14 by Patricio Marin (Mexico)

The Tailor by Diego Pino (Bolivia)

Impressions of War by Camilo Restrepo (Colombia)

Dionisio by Isabel Vaca (Mexico)

Zerch by J. Xavier Velasco (Mexico)

Panels of judges are reviewing the submissions to find the artists whose work best demonstrates outstanding talent and exemplifies their art form and the voice of their region. The judges include:

Chair: Michael Skapinker, Associate Editor, Financial Times

Art Panel: Africa and the Middle East

El Anatsui, Sculptor

Iwona Blazwick, Director at Whitechapel Gallery

Antonia Carver, Director of Art Jameel

Jan Dalley, Arts Editor, Financial Times

Koyo Kouoh, Art Director


Fiction Panel: Asia-Pacific

 Xiaolu Guo, Novelist and Filmmaker

Sunil Khlinani, Director of the India Institute at King’s College, London

Lorien Kite, Book Editor, Financial Times

Justin Leverenz, CFA, Director of Emerging Markets Equities, OppenheimerFunds

Yiyun Li, Author

Elif Shafak, Novelist, Political Scientist and Commentator


Film Panel: Latin America and the Caribbean

Nigel Andrews, Film Critic, Financial Times

Yuhang Ho, Film Director

Claudia Llosa, Film Director

Mira Nair, Film Director

Pablo Trapero, Filmmaker


Anuradha Roy wins DSC Prize for South Asian Literature

AnuradhaRoy_jpg_2698669fIndia’s Anuradha Roy has won the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2016 for her novel, Sleeping on Jupiter, which deals with the subject of violence against women.

At the Fairway Galle Literary Festival in Galle, about 130 km south of Colombo, Sri Lanka Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Saturday presented her the prize, which carried a cash award of $50,000 and a trophy, according to a release.

Mark Tully, chair of the jury, said: “We chose Sleeping on Jupiter by Anuradha Roy because of its elegance, flair and readability. It raises many issues succinctly and with commendable economy of words.”

Other authors and novels in contention for this year’s prize were: Akhil Sharma (Family Life); K.R. Meera (Hangwoman) [translated by J. Devika]; Mirza Waheed (The Book of Gold Leaves), Neel Mukherjee (The Lives of Others) and Raj Kamal Jha (She Will Build Him A City).

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Indian Among 13 Authors Long-Listed for 2015 Booker

Indian author Anuradha Roy and British-Indian Sunjeev Sahota are among 13 international authors long-listed for the 2015 Man Booker Prize, the prestigious literary prize committee announced here today.

Roy has been picked for her third novel, ‘Sleeping on Jupiter’, and Sahota for ‘The Year of the Runaways’, the committee said.

“We had a great time choosing this list. Discussions weren’t always peaceful, but they were always very friendly,” said Michael Wood, chair of this year’s Man Booker judging panel.

“We were lucky in our companions and the submissions were extraordinary. The long-list could have been twice as long, but we’re more than happy with our final choice. Read more

The Folded Earth wins the Crossword book award 2011

Anuradha Roy’s ‘The Folded Earth’ won the Economist Crossword Book Award 2011 in the ‘Indian Fiction’ category on Thursday night, beating a field that included a Man Booker Prize shortlisted nominee.

The Folded Earth, set in a Himalayan town , is Roy’s second novel; her first ‘An Atlas of Impossible Longing’ had been nominated for the same award in 2009. Roy was, unfortunately, not present at the event.

Other nominees in the category included Amitav Ghosh’s River of Smoke, Rahul Bhattacharya’s The Sly Company of People Who Care which won the Hindu Literary Prize, Jeet Thayil’s Booker-shortlisted Narcopolis, Joydeep Roy-Bhattacharya’s The Storyteller of Marrakesh. This is the eleventh edition of the awards.

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Anuradha Roy, Aman Sethi and Ravi Subramanian winners of Crossword Book Awards

`The Incredible Banker’ by Ravi Subramanian has bagged the `best popular book’ award for 2011, instituted by the Economist-Crossword Book Award.

`The Folded Earth’ by Anuradha Roy won the award in the Indian Fiction category while the Indian Non-Fiction award went to `A Free Man’ by Aman Sethi, `17′ by Anita Agnihotri and `The Araya Women’ by Narayan jointly won in Indian language translation category, Crossword said in a statement.

The 11th edition of the award had shortlisted nominees like Jeet Thayil whose latest novel `Narcopolis’ was in the Mann Booker list this year.

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