Sunday, March 28, 2010

High on the writing curve

Author Dilip Hiro, whose After Empire: The Birth of a Multipolar World was out recently, talks about how he got into the world of writing, research methods and his latest book...

His widening forehead is about to confine his hairline to a mere memory. Of course, the silver sideburns are still shining, almost like an outpost of an empire that has all but vanished. His wide eyes seem wider still, witness to the painstaking research over the course of his 30-odd books. They reveal as much as they seek to conceal. Speech is not always his most faithful ally. But today is different. It is spring in the Capital and Dilip Hiro is in a generous mood. The often reticent author who reserves his best words for his books is more frank, almost garrulous by his standards. There is little room for monosyllables, plenty for being prolific, and some for confession too.

Even as his new book After Empire: The Birth of a Multipolar World is making waves across the world – brought out here by Harper Collins – Hiro takes a trip down memory lane. “It was a struggle to become a writer. I had no background of writing. My father, probably because he was a non-Muslim, had a liquor licence in Larkana.” At one time his world was confined to a refugee colony. Today the world gushes over his works. His book Inside Central Asia has been shortlisted for the BBC 4 Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction, the Orwell Prize for Political Writing and the Lionel Gerber Prize for the Best Book on International Affairs. And he has already begun work on his next book on caste-based villages of North India!

Full report here The Hindu

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