Monday, February 15, 2010

Storm connections

Over her novels, Anita Nair’s finely delineated characters have got etched into our memories, especially the women. Meera and JAK, both caught up by unexpected disaster, add to that canon. Nair returns three years after her previous novel, Lessons in Forgetting, with a first book set in her place of residence for the past two decades, Bangalore, and in the fictional seaside town in Minjikapuram in Tamil Nadu. Though centered around the imperious and seemingly unchanging cantonment area—modern life, often discordant—has seeped into this novel. That was intentional, she says, as it was to write the better part of this novel in present tense, and structure it to parallel an impending cyclone. Suman Tarafdar caught up with her to understand the storm connections. Excerpts

This is an ambitious, layered novel. It’s also dark. Was it easy to visualise the two protagonists?
I finished with Mistress, which completely tired me out. So I wanted to do this light, breezy novel. That was in October 2006. But I soon realised that it would not be me, that light books were not my genre. Instead, I decided to look at what at that time was important to me. I started looking at the two characters, Meera, whose life is built around predictability, and JAK. Everything he has done is whimsical. Nevertheless, both their lives are touched by disaster. Both have broken up with their partners; they have become stagnant. This is all working down to the structure of the cyclone. For me, it was a coming together of many ideas, things that I wanted to do. The trick for me was to be able to do all of this without making it dense.

Full interview here Financial Express

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