Live from Jaipur: On Home, Writing and America

Home is not necessarily a place where you come from, rather it’s a place where you become. – British-born essayist Pico Iyer, the author of The Global Soul.

A male writing certain kind of fiction is taken more seriously when compared to his female counterpart – Zoe Heller, the author of Notes on a Scandal.

Fiction gives you a lot of freedom. It liberates the imagination, and allows you to bring materials from other areas of life into the narrative. You can merge characters and landscapes and create new entities. It was my intention to tell a tale through one character that would have a universal resonance – Malayalam author Benyamin (also known as Benny Daniel), the author of Goat Days.

“The middle-class income is stagnating, there has been a decline in upward mobility and the inequality between the rich and poor is widening. This is the triple cocktail of causes that is fuelling my pessimism about United States” – 

Edward Luce, the author of Time to Start Thinking: America and the Spectre of Descent.

This is my third trip to the country. I was not worried about coming – Pakistani-

Canadian writer Musharraf Ali Farooqi, the author of Between Clay and Dust.

This is a small price I have had to pay for seeking to uphold the freedom of speech and expression — 

Jeet Thayil, the author of Narcopolis, on the legal wrangles that he landed into after reading out portions of Salman Rushdie’s ‘Satanic Verses’ during last year’s lit fest.

Although the stories are old and the culture has changed a lot and many things about the ancient world seem alien. But the people who lived then are exactly like us. For me, the story has always been very modern. They are stories about parents and children, husbands and wives, about friends. For me it wasn’t hard to make it feel modern because it was modern to me. What I wanted to do was take these characters that are us and bring them to a modern audience and take away the parts that are alienating.

Madeline Miller, the author of ‘The Song of Achilles,’ on writing ancient stories in a modern narrative.


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India Writes Network
India Writes Network
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