Friday, 19 October 2012

Summer's away!

Did all fairy tales begin in India? This is the fascinating discussion event at the South Asian Lit Festival, 1st November to the 11 th in LondonHere is the blurb from the event that takes place on Saturday 3rd: 

Fairytales: From Panchatantra to the Brothers Grimm:  In the bicentenary year of the first publication of the Grimm Brothers’ folk stories, our panel explores the extent to which the Grimms were inspired by the ancient Indian animal fables found in the Panchatantra. The Arabian Nights, too, have tangible roots across the subcontinent, from Sanskrit animal fables to Buddhist short stories.

In this unique event we bring together experts in all three traditions to discuss these tantalising questions and revel in the timeless magic of storytelling.
Panchatantra ' is an ancient collection of animal fables written in Sanskrit around 3rd century BC.  The South Asian Lit Festival has a wonderful line up of authors and events for all ages. If I was living in London I would attend as many events as possible.

I have finished reading Aminatta Forna's The Memory of Love, an absolutely fantastic read. I learnt about the civil war in Sierra Leone written in such a subtle, awe inspiring prose. I look forward to reading more of her work. She is on twitter and when I tweeted to her she responded immediately, adding that she was born in Glasgow. It is a small world, right?

What am I reading next? Barbara Kingsolver's 'Lacuna' was my choice, but having heard that Anuradha Roy has won the Crossword Prize I am going to re read her book 'The Folded Earth' that I had purchased and read in great hurry during my stay in Jaipur in January. I want to revisit the book and take it at a more leisurely pace.

I hope you are  all prepared for autumn and the cold season. Summer is definitely away and  I'll  be writing some short stories. I'll also enjoy Navratri, Halloween, Guy's Fawkes fireworks and Diwali in November. 

Thursday, 4 October 2012

World Lit

I am reading 'The Bastard of Istanbul' by Eli Shafak now. World Lit is so much more satisfying at times. I am transported to another culture and style of writing is refreshing. I also have the Scottish born Aminatta Forna's book 'The Memory of Love' and I'm looking forward to learning about Sierra Leone. The same old drug, alcohol- laced scenes of local lit gets a bit repetitive.

The Man Booker Prize is only a fortnight away. I have not read any of the short-listed books. Alison Moore's 'The Lighthouse' I think, will be the winner. The theme does not appeal to me, neither does Wil Self's Umbrella which is reviewed as a meandering, stream of consciousness novel. Jeet Thayil's tale of Mumbai again deals with drugs but I may read that one as it is written by a compatriot.

October/ November is the start of Indian Festivals, and I look forward to the celebrations to enliven the dark autumn nights.

It was good this morning to be complimented by someone in the gym, to whom I was introduced to. She had read my books and loved them both. It is always good to get feedback from readers. My second novel 'Bombay Baby' is available on Kindle and as a paperback.

Link to Bombay Baby:

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