Friday, October 26, 2012

Two of my Stories reprinted in Necessary Fiction

I am very pleased that two of my stories, Abandoned Rooms and Stretch, Open Up, Stretch have been chosen to be reprinted by Stefanie Freele, the October writer in residence at Necessary Fiction. Here is the link.

In introducing Stefanie to Necessary Fiction, editor Steve Himmer suggests that we ‘enjoy the ride this month to whatever compressed universes Stefanie’s going to guide us to’. Stefanie’s perspectives on her theme for the month which is the Earth and the environment, or as she sums it up, ‘Thinking about the planet, the weather, the earth, our stories’, may be found in her article October without a Chill in the Air.

Abandoned Rooms first appeared in Emprise Review and Stretch, Open Up, Stretch has recently been published in Pachinko Magazine.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Pangea Readings

At the Thunderbolt, Bristol, July 4, 2012:

At the Blackwell's Bristol launch, July 26, 2012:

At unputdownable, the Bristol Literature Festival, October 20, 2012:

Monday, October 15, 2012

'Stretch, Open Up, Stretch' in Pachinko Magazine

Stretch, Open Up, Stretch appears in the inaugural issue of Pachinko Magazine. This is a story I wrote some years ago and recently edited again before submitting. I am pleased it is published, since in some ways it marked a transition to a more deliberate and crafted style of writing.

The story is accompanied by an amazing illustration by Caitlin Allen.

“Twist, twist further. Back straight. Do you feel the deep stretch in your hip?” Kamini could feel it, releasing, opening, stretching.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Out of Print 9

Out of Print 9 features a single work by U R Ananthamurthy. The Hunt, The Bangle and The Chameleon, has not been published in translated form before.

The cover is an image from a collaborative community project by N S Harsha.

Chandrahas Choudhury in his review of the recently translated Bharathipura (translation, Sushila Punitha, Oxford University Press, 2011) comments that ‘Mr Ananthamurthy … takes as his great theme Hinduism's relationship to modernity.’ Professor Anathamurthy’s work, Tim Parks says ‘has the all difficulty and rewards of the genuinely exotic, … [in comparison to] the far more familiar Indians writing in English ... who have used their energy and imagination to present a version of India to the West where exoticism is at once emphasized and made easy.

One of Professor Ananthamurthy’s most acclaimed novels is Samskara: A Rite for a Dead Man (translation A K Ramanujan, Oxford University Press, 1976) later made into an award winning film by Pattabhi Rama Reddy. In India: A Wounded Civilisation (Andre Deutsch 1977, Penguin, 1979), V S Naipaul sees the novel that in his view captures ‘the Indian idea of the self’, as ‘a form of social inquiry’ which highlights the decay of Indian civilisation. Refuting this as too limited an interpretation, R K Gupta in his article, The ‘Fortunate Fall’ in U R Anantha Murthy’s Samskara (International Fiction Review, 7 (1), 1980, pp. 20-28) suggests that the ‘moral and spiritual growth’ of the protagonist, the Brahmin Praneshacharya ‘through what might be called his "fortunate fall" defines the theme and controls the form’ of the novel. The critical event of the acharya’s ‘felix culpa’ is his encounter with Chandri, a woman of low caste that leaves him recognising that ‘he has lost his virtue. At the same time ... he has ... [a] sense of having attained ... not only physical and emotional fulfillment but also an increased moral awareness as well as a broadening and refining of his human perceptions.’ 

We offer that The Hunt, The Bangle and TheChameleon explores both the social themes of transition and modernity that occupy Professor Ananthamurthy, as well as the transformation of the individual, although here, the defining change in the protagonist, Krishnaswamy comes not from an encounter with sin, but rather with innocence.