By Aminah Sheikh

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

As is the case with most of us, constant inner exploration with strings and strings of questions ushers me towards the world of fiction, I suppose. And that subsequently widens my imagination more and more.

Fiction always fascinates me, both to read and to write. For me, it is like living one life in reality but tens of thousands in the fictional space.

I write for the creative experience itself more than the politics in, out of and behind the issues although I do appreciate and enjoy them all while reading others’ works. I’ve found myself narrating mostly with an anthropological approach but the characterization and dialogues in my fiction certainly don’t shy away from the political side of the issue. I let them be as political as required. So, naturally I’ve never believed in creating an ideal world through fiction nor have I ever tried to give any solutions to the issue. The characters take my stories forward. This could be one of the reasons for readers and critics’ ‘author is absent in the narration’ experience and comments.

Like I always say it is the creative experience that I always long for that has been helping me evolve spiritually, the person that I am and will be. It’s one of the important byproducts of my reading and writing fiction for twenty two years.

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

With only two or three stories left to be written, ‘Dangling Gandhi and other short stories’ in English, is forming decently well. Although few of them talk of the contemporary issues in Singapore, some of the important stories transcend beyond eras and geographies. Thus the weaves, I hope, would subtly raise many intricate questions on several social issues of not just the modern multicultural societies and human migrations in this shrunken world, but also of the colonial India, Malaya and Singapore.

Zafar Anjum, the publisher cum writer with such a beautiful theme of ‘empowering and connecting Asian readers and writers, everywhere’, has been gracious to have launched ‘Horizon Afar and other Tamil short stories’ of mine, the second of its kind, at SILF16 at Kishanganj. How well he knows about the role of translation in filling the gaps and also in cultural sharing. I owe it very much also to the earnest and enthusiastic translator and writer P.Muralidharan of Chennai, and the editor of the book for her help in improving the text.

It may sound too ambitious or a little pre mature to say I wish to write a novel based on my transit experience at Delhi amidst the first week of demonetization woes, the SILF16 (Seemanchal International Literary Festival 2016), the town of Kishanganj, Bagdogra, Darjeeling but I hope some creative magic really happens.

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Mo_YanThe Chinese author, Mo Yan, will be speaking at a conference on May 23 at San Marcos in Lima.

“The Republic of Wine” author Mo Yan, will be paying a visit to San Marcos University of Lima, Peru this Saturday May 23.

Winner of the Nobel Prize of Literature, the acclaimed Chinese writer will be participating in a conference of literature entitled, “Meeting of San Marcos with the writers of the Popular Republic of China.” The event will be held in the Auditorium José Antonio Russo Delgado of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities.

The top winner is 34-year-old Zhang Jiajia, writer and playwright who soared to fame with a collection of short stories that is circulated widely and known for its soothing power for young readers struggling to find their place in society: China Daily

The richest Chinese writer reaped 19.5 million yuan ($3.14 million) in royalty gains in 2014, as the China Writers Rich List was launched on Dec 20 in Chengdu, Sichuan province.

According to the list, 50 Chinese writers have gained more than 1 million yuan in royalties from their works in print.

A group of Sinologists have “nominated” the most promising Chinese candidates for the 2014 Nobel Prize in literature, which is expected to be announced in October. Most said novelist Liu Zhenyun is the strongest candidate to win the prize. The Sinologists made the nomination during a symposium on Chinese literature and translation last month in Beijing. Chinese writer Mo Yan won the Nobel Prize in literature in 2012.