A couple of weeks ago, I was interviewed about my forthcoming novel by Business Standard, and this morning, while reading Maud’s blog, I found out that the interview has been published:
Tell us something about Home Products.
Okay. This is the first time I’m doing a synopsis, so let me take a deep breath.
A Bihari journalist is asked to write a story about a small-time poetess who’s been killed by her politician lover. Instead, the journo narrates the story of his cousin who is in prison for running an Internet porn parlour but who is dreaming of making a film when he comes out. The actor who will star in that film is his old school-friend from Bettiah, a man who is now big in Bollywood.
Here’s another recent interview for the Bangladeshi paper Daily Star.
Photos above and below are of the Hindi film-actor Manoj Bajpai.
Earlier today, soon after reading my own interview, I read Sven Birkerts‘ piece about Vikram Chandra’s novel, Sacred Games. Birkerts says good things about the book, but the piece is as much a tribute to book-reviewing. Birkerts is impressed by Chandra’s book, and, I guess, by Birkerts the reviewer:
I’ve been reading every day, not quite finished, so the one-man jury on ultimate greatness is still out, but I can say that “Sacred Games” is moving right along. It’s working. Page after page it plucks me from the here and now, from the world governed by marketing mentalities, ruled by tasks and anxieties. I really am for long stretches in some phantasmagoric, confusing, reeking, corrupt, overheated, overpopulated elsewhere, a Mumbai of the mind, with characters who surprise me with their look and sound, their twists of behavior. How strange. It’s as if I’ve needed to go through this peculiar re-immersion to get to my turnaround, to remember — again — why I got into this game in the first place. It was out of love.
After all these years I see that love is still the motive force. The honest work of art trumps the cynic, and elevates the critic, every time. When I close the covers, as I do from time to time, to heft the thing, I consider the weight of pages — not just these, but all the hard-won worthy novels, their millions of words coming toward the reader like armies over the hill.
May I add my own two paise on the matter? I often need to read a review like this to be reminded that no matter why I got into the business of writing, and no matter what the specific aesthetic goals or even the achievements of my book are, a reader sitting in the West will get from it whatever the hell they want. And God bless them!