“I wish I had a more reliable way of figuring out how to write. It’s all just intuition and waking dreams.” – Robbie Arnott
Posts tagged "India"
Rijula Das: The constant smallness of being

Rijula Das: The constant smallness of being

Set in Calcutta’s notorious red-light district Sonagachi, Rijula Das’s debut Small Deaths resists lazy stereotypes. Years of research have provided Das with an intimate understanding of the power dynamics at play between the madams, pimps and police, and how their often-cruel manoeuvrings have devastating consequences for the endless stream of girls and young women trafficked...
White desire

White desire

Weary and defeated, I collapse onto the damp floor of my cell and think about those people who swarmed the seas like repellent jellyfish and heaved themselves up onto foreign shores. They were interviewed in half-hidden, half-open offices on the outskirts of the city. It was my job, and that of many others, to interpret...
Paradise Lodge

Paradise Lodge

As they would go to a holy city to die, people came to Paradise Lodge to end their lives. Young and old. Men and women. Able-bodied and ailing. Like migratory birds, they arrived from places Latif had never heard of. It was as if it was the closest point to the after world, as close...
Banana tree days

Banana tree days

Recent cool, damp days remind me of the monsoon in Guwahati, when skies go pearly grey, pensive with rain. In particular, I’ve been thinking of the banana tree just outside my bedroom window in the flat where I spent three years. In humid Guwahati weather, the window was rarely closed, except at night, and often...
Tessa McWatt: A place in the world

Tessa McWatt: A place in the world

Tessa McWatt’s The Snow Line throws together four strangers at a wedding in the Indian Himalayan foothills. Twenty-five-year-old Reema is a classical singer born in India but raised as a Londoner, who has travelled without her Scottish boyfriend. Having recently discovered she is pregnant, she is facing a life-shifting decision about her future. Yosh is...
from A God at the Door

from A God at the Door

Tishani Doshi’s latest poetry collection A God at the Door spans time and space, drawing on the minutiae of nature and humanity to elevate the marginalised. Taken together, playfully eclectic in form and metre, the poems traverse history, from the cosmic to the quotidian, taking inspiration from the world at large to bestow power on...
Two sea ballads

Two sea ballads

David Constantine’s eleventh poetry collection, Belongings, is concerned both with our possessions and with what possesses us. The poems ask: Where do you belong? And have in mind also the hostile: You don’t belong here. Go back where you belong. Behind these explorations another kind of belonging is challenged: our relationship with the planet to which...
From Tiger Girl

From Tiger Girl

Pascale Petit’s new poetry collection marks a shift from the Amazonian rainforests of her previous work to explore her grandmother’s Indian heritage and the fauna and flora of subcontinental jungles. The ‘Tiger Girl’ of the title is the grandmother, with her tales of wild tigers, but also the endangered predators Petit encountered in Central India. The...
Avni Doshi: Mother and daughter

Avni Doshi: Mother and daughter

Avni Doshi’s debut novel Burnt Sugar – longlisted for the 2020 Booker Prize immediately prior to UK publication and subsequently making the shortlist – is a compelling exploration of the ties that bind a mother and her daughter, and of an irreconcilable longing for self-expression in both of them that signifies betrayal. As a young woman,...
Petina Gappah: Follow the body

Petina Gappah: Follow the body

When British explorer David Livingstone died in 1873 in a small village in present-day Zambia, he was accompanied by an entourage of around seventy African guides, porters and helpers, who came to the remarkable decision to carry his remains over 1,500 miles to the coast at Bagamoyo to be transported home for burial. In Out...
Deepa Anappara: Other realities

Deepa Anappara: Other realities

Deepa Anappara’s debut novel Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line is an exuberant and captivating child’s-eye depiction of hand-to-mouth living in a sprawling, determinedly self-sustaining slum in an unnamed Indian city. Nine-year-old narrator Jai is a fan of reality cop shows beamed into his family’s one-room shack in a crowded basti surrounded by the high-rise...
Fatima Bhutto: Culture shifts

Fatima Bhutto: Culture shifts

In New Kings of the World, with customary wit and insight, Fatima Bhutto investigates how Bollywood, Turkish soap operas and K-pop are leading an emerging cultural movement that represents the biggest challenge to America’s monopoly on soft power since the end of the Second World War. The film below touches on some of the main...