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I'd write more, like you said I should. If only, there was more to me.

Sunday, September 02, 2007


Nikita Lalwani's 'Gifted' left me disappointed, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the winner of this year's Orange Prize for fiction for 'Half of a Yellow Sun' has had me gripped. It's going to take me some time to finish this one - I love it so much. Then there is all the splendid stuff to read before heading off for the Ubud Writers Festival.

There is lots to read, yet one book that's been playing in my head is M G Vassanji's 'The Assasin's Song' which got a glowing review on Anjali's Lotus Reads - a book blog, I track closely. I haven't read Vassanji's work before and didn't quite realise what I was missing, till I read this post on another great blog, Jai Arjun's - Jabberwock.

Anjali and I exchanged a couple of emails last week on why Vassanji, who is so big in Canada instead quite as well read outside. It's something that the author addressed in this chat with Jai Arjun:

Well, I've always fallen between places – first as an Indian growing up in a colonised Africa, later as an Indian in Canada. And I write about real people in ordinary situations, which is not necessarily the most fashionable sort of writing. Some high-profile writers of Indian origin cater to the idea of an exotic India – I’m not saying that the use of stylistic devices is bad in itself, but it can lead to a certain type of posturing, which detracts from what you’re trying to say. I’ve observed that this is true of some African writers also: sometimes there is a pressure to play games because we don't automatically have a market in the West.

Such honesty. It's enough to put Vassanji right on top of my to read list.

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