Unusual literary happenings

Some unusual things have happened in my writing world recently, and no, I’m not talking about two giveaways on my cheap-o blog. In the order of their occurrence:

1. I was asked for my thoughts on e-publishing for an article for the New York Times (International Ed.), and I learnt from the journalist that I was one of the few positively disposed towards this phenomenon. Yes, I agree there is a lot of crap, but as I’ve said before,  e-publishing is, at least in part, an organic response to the systemic exclusion of certain types of writing from mainstream publishing. I’m curious to see to see what the article has to say (I’ll link once it is published).

2. An interesting essay called “Defining Indo-Canadian writing” published in Maple Tree Literary Supplement postulates that Indo-Canadian writing reflects India itself in its diversity and range, and hence cannot/ought not be labelled. Like I said, interesting. I was interviewed for this piece, and–I cannot be nonchalant about this–the writer said I LOOK LIKE AN INDIAN AUDREY HEPBURN.

The bits not about me are very accurate, though.

3. I’m featured on Carina’s great series on the early reading influences and experiences of different bloggers, Reading Roots. Thank you, Carina! Sample Q&A:

How have your reading tastes developed from childhood until now? What were the phases that you went through along the way?

I grew up in India, and there just wasn’t any Indian children’s
fiction back then. As a very young child, I read mostly British books, and I pretty much memorized Enid Blyton’s entire oeuvre. Naughty Amelia Jane! Mr. Muddle Meddles! Mr. Pink-Whistle! I also remember a lot of weird Russian pop-up books–India and Russia had a thing going back in the eighties.
If you have children, how did you encourage them (or how are you encouraging them) to become readers? If you do not have children of your own, what do you think is the most important thing to focus on in order to promote reading in the coming generations?

My three-year-old son [now four!] is adept at twitching books out of my hand while whining “Mommy, stop reading.” He thinks of books as competition for my attention, and he’s quite right. I mean, I took books to the hospital when I was in labor.

Seriously: I think he’s absorbed the value I place on reading. He has quite a large book collection already, and of course, I read to him everyday. I also make up stories about characters I love–he knows about Tintin and Sherlock Holmes and [Just] William, for instance. I think it’ll be hard for him not to be a reader, unless he does it as a conscious act of rebellion. *Shudder*

Please pop over to Reading Through Life to learn more about my gory addiction to books and my family’s consequent travails. And do check out Carina’s thoughtful blog too!

4. I’m hopeless at challenges, read-a-thons, memes, awards and readalongs, and most of all, I’m really lazy inept at visiting other blogs and posting comments.  I’ve resolved to stop being so  witless when it comes to actively engaging with the blogosphere; henceforth, I’m going visit 2 (new) blogs a week, and comment when I like the content. And start a blogroll for the good stuff. Suggestions are solicited.

11 thoughts on “Unusual literary happenings

  1. I try not to fantasize about the bloggers I follow, but the mental image of an Indian Audrey Hepburn is almost to much too bear. A couple of the bloggers I’ve followed for over 5 years have made attempts to e-publish (Alda Sigmundsdottir in Iceland and Gary Marshall in Glasgow) but have made much of an impact yet.

    The only blog I’ve ever followed worth reading like a book- from the beginning to the present- is Annie Atkin’s the Little Pinch of Salt: http://annierhiannon.blogspot.com/
    It’s written in a journal style, but she is so good with words (and images) that her blog could be made into a fantastic book. All the joy and despair that comes with being a young single woman is there, with brutal honesty along with some really funny bits. She’s won a couple of Irish blog awards and is self-published as well.
    (Her archives are listed at the bottom of her comments pages).

    • I didn’t say the comparison was true, just that it was made… but YEAH!
      I read the last few entries of Atkin’s blog, and while I think more context would have got me more deeply involved: Oh, that Annie can sure write.

  2. Terrific! Will wait for the links.
    And wow, an Indian Audrey Hepburn – there must be some truth in that! She is one of my favorite actresses!

  3. Congratulations! That is a lot of fantastic-ness 🙂 Loved your answers at Carina’s blog, and can’t wait to read the New York Times piece. Also, I highly recommend Kinna if you’re not already reading her – kinnareads.wordpress.com.

  4. Wow! an Indian Audrey Hepburn indeed! What w wonderful compliment ‘Niru’. Looking forward to NYT piece. Lotus Reads is a good blog and so is Farmlane Books UK.

  5. I bet you do look like the gorgeous Audrey too! Our house has always been well ‘furnished’ with books so reading has always been normal for my sons. They had lots of books of their own and the youngest son wanted me to read to him all the time! He reads fiction now but the eldest son hasn’t liked fiction since he went to high school and only reads non-fiction. He could read fluently long before he went to nursery school. He says fiction is just lies!! It used to worry me but it doesn’t seem to have done him any harm. He has had a blog since he was 14 so obviously prefers writing.
    I went from Blyton to Christie to Brontes to du Maurier to anything I could get my hands on.

  6. @ Kamini: None that I can see, but I’m not arguing!
    @ Amy: Thanks for the recommendation; I’ll certainly check her out.
    @ Leela: Thanks for the recs! And I love your blog’s name–very unusual combination, that!
    @ Katrina: My blogging friends are sooo much kinder than my family 🙂 and yes, my reading trajectory was very similar till I did a Columbus, when I was about fifteen..

  7. Sounds like many exciting literary happenings are going on in your life. Congratulations. My middle son (now 14) claims to “hate” reading, which is a knife in my heart every time he says it. But then I realize that’s probably why he says it, so I try to let it go. We still read aloud together though, even with my 19 year olds.

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