July 3, 2012, Pune, India: BookChums interviewed well known author and literary critic Anita Nair who has penned poetry, novels and short stories. Her novels Ladies Coupe, The Better Man and Lessons In Forgetting have been immensely popular. She has also compiled a collection of poems titled Malabar Mind and a collection of short stories called Satyr of the Subway. We talked to Anita about how she gives birth to poetry, stories and why Kerala appears as a recurring setting in her works.
Anita Nair spoke at length about how she derives inspiration for her works. “There is no difference in the subjects that I choose to write about, be it poetry or fiction. Every day there are several times when I chance upon a word, idea, picture, scene or even thought and think – here’s a story. But what ultimately gets written is an idea so powerful that it refuses to dislodge itself no matter what happens. For me what is supreme is a good story and character driven narratives,” explains Nair.
In the interview Anita, also spoke about how Kerala appears as setting in most her novels. “I wish I could tell you why Kerala inspires me as it does. All I do know is it does. And again and again….It is maddening to know that whatever it is defies description… perhaps it is the sum total of the colours, the scents, the landscape, the people, their cussedness and humour, the petty politics and the larger than life ideals…just when you think you have understood some facet of Kerala, it contradicts itself. Perhaps that is what is so exciting for me as a writer…,” says this seasoned author.
During this interaction Anita also spoke about what book reviewers miss out on while doing reviews. “One essential element that reviewers miss out on is that they fail to locate the book within the context and what readers should look for in it. The stress is mostly on what the book doesn’t have rather than what it does for the reader,” concludes Anita Nair.
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