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January 24, 2016

Zee JLF Conversations: Anuradha Roy

Text by Huzan Tata

“Fiction happens where your experiences meet your imagination. And your imagination transforms anything you experience…”

On the first story she ever wrote
“I still remember it because I have the notebook I wrote it in – it’s a hard bound red one that my mother gave me saying ‘do what you want with it’. So I still have the misspelled little story about a bear who sat on a chair…”

On contemporary authors and books
“I love Alice Munro’s short stories and the works of Norwegian author Per Petterson. I really love to read crime fiction.”

Hardest character to create in Sleeping On Jupiter
“They were all difficult to write in different ways. And I found that the girl Nomita was the hardest to write because her life experiences are so different from mine that to enter her world imaginatively was quite challenging.”

Reality versus imagination
“I think writing is always a mix of both. Fiction happens where your experiences meet your imagination. And your imagination transforms anything you experience – so what you have at the end is completely different.”

On literature festivals
“They’re excellent. As an author I really like the chance it gives me to meet readers. Because otherwise you are  working all by yourself. And I always discover new writers I want to read.”

On awards and nominations
“I don’t think they change the way I approach my work, but the demands on my time are much higher from other things. So you have to work really hard to strike a balance between doing whatever you and your publishers have to do to make your books go out there in the world, and to preserve your own world for yourself to write in.”

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