Tag Archives: Janice Pariat

She Stoops to Kill: How the stories of Crime and Passion came about with Preeti Gill, Janice Pariat, Mitra Phukan, Bulbul Sharma & more…

Book Review by Namrata

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Title: She Stoops to Kill — Stories of Crime and Passion

Editor: Preeti Gill

Publisher: Speaking Tiger Books

Date of Publication: 2019

She Stoops to Kill is a collection of crime stories written by some of the most illustrious women writers of India. A chanced discussion at Guwahati airport between Preeti Gill and the featured authors about the rising crime rates featured in daily newspapers matured into an anthology of murder stories.

Preeti Gill is a renowned name in the literary circles, having worked in the publishing industry for more than two decades now. She has donned various hats during this period, ranging from being a writer, commissioning editor, rights manager, script writer, researcher and is now, an independent editor and literary agent.

This collection brings together a heady combination of renowned authors like Paro Anand, Venita Coelho, Uddipana Goswami, Manjula Padmanabhan, Janice Pariat, Mitra Phukan, Pratyaksha and Bulbul Sharma. Interestingly, each one of them is a stalwart in their own merit, having written award-winning titles but none had ever written crime or mystery. As the editor, Preeti Gill mentions in the introduction, “The writers I chose for this anthology don’t usually write crime, and much less murder, but once they decided to take this on I was absolutely stunned by the variety, the enthusiasm, the imaginative detail and also the macabre bloodiness of their stories.” Read more

The Lounge Chair Interview: 15 questions with Janice Pariat

By Neha Mehrotra

Janice Pariat is the author of Boats on Land: A Collection of Short Stories, Seahorse, a novel and The Nine Chambered-Heart, a novella, published by HarperCollins India in November 2017 and HarperCollins UK in May 2018. In 2013, Janice won Sahitya Akademi’s Young Writer Award and the Crossword Book Award for Fiction; in 2015, she was shortlisted for the Hindu Literary Prize for her novel Seahorse.

Janice studied English Literature at St. Stephens College, Delhi and went on to study History of Art at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. She currently lives in Delhi; among other things, writes a monthly literary column ‘Paperwallah’ for The Hindu and teaches creative writing at Ashoka University.

The Nine Chambered Heart is currently being translated for publication into six languages, including Italian, Spanish, French and German.

Janice Pariat.jpg

Janice Pariat

How do you identify as a writer?

By writing? I don’t see what else would suffice. Although I’d hasten to add that identifying as a writer implies something of a stasis–and I think, for me, it’s about “being” a writer or seeing that identity (as with all?) as something that’s perpetually in flux. One is always “becoming” a writer. It isn’t some pleasant destination you arrive at, at the top of a mythical hill. It’s also an identity to which people are keen to prefix with labels – “woman”, “Northeast”, “Indian” – while I would prefer to shrug them all off. Labels say very little about me, and tend to skew expectations of what I should write, the kind of stories I should be telling, where my books should be set.

What impels you to write, especially the kind of books you write?

I’m afraid I’m not very good at anything else – painting, pottery, playing a musical instrument. I feel kinship though with literature and books and writing. Reading impels me to write. As does remembrance, and memory. Bleakness. Joy. Frustration. Fun. Anger. Sadness. At the risk of sounding like one of those terrifically earnest people, writing is at the very centre of everything I do because it helps me make sense of the world, to record it, unravel it, and give it away. They say we write the books we want to read? Perhaps. I guess I write the books I do to explore aspects of myself, and other people and the world that most intrigue me.

Tell us about your most recent piece of writing apart from what you have published.

A terrible poem which must never see light of day. Hastily scribbled notes, which may make it into the next book. To be honest, I’ve been reading more than writing this summer.

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‘We should encourage multiple voices’: Interview with Janice Pariat

A free-wheeling conversation with author Janice Pariat, who was in the city recently, on translation, writing and reading.

I rush into the Rajasthani Sangh on DB Road in a tearing hurry because I’m late for my meeting with Janice Pariat. But the author puts me at ease as I stammer out my apologies. She’s been enjoying herself, she says, listening to the speakers at the two-day literature festival ahead of the Vishnupuram award.

We start with the reason she’s in the city: for the release of the Tamil translation of her book of short stories, Boats on Land. She’s “completely and utterly thrilled” but was “part of the process only in as much as I put Ramkumar in touch with Penguin Random House for the rights.”

Interestingly, each story in the book is being translated by a different person. “If we’re talking about translation as a multiplicity of texts, this is taking it to a whole new level,” she smiles happily.

She believes that there should be more translations from English into regional languages. “If we’re talking about idea of stories existing in many forms, of there being multiple storytellers, then translation is the way to go.” To her, translation is a deep engagement with the text that results in something totally new and the translated book should recognised as such.

“Many of us are so limited linguistically that we can access a text only in one language,” she laments and, in a glancing reference to what is going on across the country, adds, “We should be encouraging multiplicities, multiple voices, and knocking down borders of all sorts.”

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Shortlist for Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize 2013 announced

Boats on LandThe shortlist for the 2013 Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize has been announced. There are six books in contention for this year’s cash prize of Rs. 1 lakh and trophy: Boats on Land by Janice Pariat, India Becoming by Akash Kapur, The King’s Harvest by Chetan Raj Shreshta, The Wildings by Nilanjana Roy, Foreign by Sonora Jha, and A Pleasant Kind of Heavy and Other Stories by Aranyani.

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Janice Pariat wins the Sahitya Akademi Yuva Puraskar for Boats on Land

Boats on LandThe Sahitya Akademi, India’s top literary institution, has awarded Janice Pariat the Sahitya Akademi Yuva Puraskar for her debut collection of short stories, Boats on Land.

The Akademy announced its annual youth awards in 23 languages on 23 August in Delhi.

The Akademy said in an announcement that there is no award in Sindhi this year. In total, there are 16 award recipients this year in various Indian languages.

Janice received the award in English language.

The winners receive a casket containing an engrave copper-plaque and a cheque of Rs. 50,000.

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Shillong Gothic

Look at what’s going on,” says the young Grace in Laitlum, a short story which appears in the middle of Janice Pariat’s Boats on Land. “Is there time for folk tales when people are shooting each other across their own town roads?” Grace is unsatisfied when her boyfriend Chris replies, “Perhaps that’s when they need them most.” “Maybe once they taught people something about life, and how to live it but not any more,” she shoots back. “Now you figure things out for yourself, you can’t depend on anyone else to get you out of shit.”
Few conversations in the stories in Boats on Land are as explicit as this. Set in and around Shillong, spanning generations and centuries, Boats on Land addresses political conflict with the gentlest of touches, allowing war to shape the stories only as far as they shape the lives of the people in these stories, in the background of their chance encounters and sorrowful partings, unexpected friendships and quietly observed rites of passage. But the great commonwealth of folk stories and myths are also part of the air that characters—including the rock ‘n’ roll-loving teenagers in Laitlum—breathe. They mix themselves up with half-remembered memories and minute personal histories, and become, in this way, contemporary and private.