Saturday, February 27, 2010

I don't have writer's block: Vassanji

Writer's block is a malady that can affect writers of all kinds, regardless of what type of literature they write.
Award-winning Canadian author M.G. Vassanji isn't one of them.

"I don't have writer's block. I'm too old for that," Vassanji, who turns 60 in May, told the audience at Thursday night's Readings at Roselawn Authors' Series. "Writer's block is for young people who have time.
The clock is ticking for me," he said to laughter. Vassanji was in town to read from A Place Within: Rediscovering India, last year's winner of the Governor General's Award for non-fiction. Although he has written six novels and two collections of short stories, A Place Within was his first attempt at non-fiction.

The book traces his travels to his ancestral homeland, beginning in 1993. The multiple journeys for the book spanned 15 years. Born in Kenya in 1950, Vassanji was raised in Tanzania to second-generation Indian parents. He had a sense he would have to one day go. "What was India to me? I was not born in India. Nor were my parents." So go he finally did. He found a vast, multi-layered nation.

"It would take many lifetimes to explore India and write about it fully. When I first went, I remember thinking I didn't want to have a distraction or blink even; I might miss something." The country's complexities also presented Vassanji with other challenges.

Full report here The Tribune

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