Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Rooster Prize 2015 goes to Emily St. John Mandel

The Rooster Prize goes to Emily St. John Mandel


The Tournament of Books ended today. I'm a big fan of the Tournament and have been following it ever since I knew about it. I love to read the verdicts - with explanations to boot - by great judges, and the "match commentary" by its terrific commentators who are great literary tasters ( I'm already a Kevin fan and like John, Laura and Elliot as well). I also like to read the readers'comments.  It is the talk of the art, which you don't get to hear often in many places now.

But I must confess you one thing: I've not read a single title that featured in the tournament. I'm not really bothered about it. As I follow the judges, commentators and the great readers every day, I get an idea of what every book is about. And I decide which one to buy and read. Truth to tell, I'm a bit suspicious about the current American fiction. Often it reads more like synthetic than organic. What's the point of reading a novel if it can't offer a feeling of something real?

Some months ago, I had the experience of reading the last year's Rooster-winning novel (you know it). Though well-mapped, it read so artificial, absurd and cinematic. Is it literature?

So, am I going to read Station Eleven? Hell, no.  Post-apocalyptic novels don't work for me.

I would rather buy and read A Brief history of Seven killings by Marlon James.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Tom McCarthy on Hergé’s Tintin books

I’ve probably learnt more from them about narrative technique (doubling, splitting, leading false trails etc.) than from any other writer. He was a genius: There’s an incredibly sophisticated set of concerns and subtexts being played out in those books: family secrets passing down generations, anxieties about inheritance and illegitimacy, musings on counterfeit and inauthenticity (be it in the field of currency or blood or art), on technology and politics – the whole 20th century is there. And – best of all – a seven-year-old can read them with as much passion as a 45-year-old.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Being a Writer of Proper literature

“Being published is a bit like being entered into a race you don’t even want to run, but, once running, can’t help but not want to lose. There’s lots of anxiety about your position in that race. Hence my decision to forget the race and simply write, regardless. Even regardless of whether or not I’m published and have readers – that the desire to write (not to out-write others) is all that matters, to keep integrity, to enjoy it.”
--Samantha Harvey

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Writing is about.....

Friday, March 6, 2015

Running Projects for Eight/Nine novels at the same time

"At any one point I have running projects for eight or nine novels I want to write, and I keep notes on them for many, many years. In that sense the subject matter, the intricate quotes, my ideas that I keep writing all the time, the seriousness of my projects defends me from the vanities of fame and success."

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Fantasy Tropes in Serious Literature!

"... it feels like I've stepped into a larger, ongoing debate about the role of fantasy tropes in what you might call "serious literature."  It reminds me to some extent of what was happening with sci-fi a couple decades ago. Since then, sci-fi has come much more into the mainstream and no one thinks twice about dystopian settings. But I can sense a frustration among certain writers who feel they haven't been allowed to use fantastical elements like dragons and things, and that there's a community of writers and readers out there who feel marginalized."
--Kazuo Ishiguro 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Monday, March 2, 2015

Norman Manea on his first English-translated book, "Captives"

It’s probably a very big mistake. Well, maybe not a mistake, but a risk. I was very hesitant to republish it. I’ve had this connection to New Directions for more than twenty years, and they wanted to publish the book, but I said, “It’s not for America. It’s an obscure book, a complicated book, a coded book".

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