Sunday, April 18, 2010

An arrack break

Mathew Vincent Menacherry talks about Arrack in the Afternoon, his debut novel, a satire

“One writes because one cannot but write.” Mathew Vincent Menacherry is tad sceptical if the statement makes him pompous. But that's the only way he can explain being a writer.

“For the longest time that's what I wanted to do, what I meant to do,” says the debutant author, who all along has run a family business in Mumbai, even when writing asserted its right on his time. Mathew's first work of fiction “Arrack in the Afternoon”, a Harper Collins release, brewed considerably within the author (for about eight years), before hitting the stands. And it spilled out a gloomy tale spiked by bouts of humour. Mathew's protagonist Verghese Konnikara is the archetypal loser. A failed poet and a confirmed alcoholic, his mainstay is inaction. Except for his one action — a failed one at that of killing himself — Verghese through the novel, is nudged and pushed into the limelight and manufactured success by people who have envisioned for him vital roles.

In the Capital to promote “Arrack in the Afternoon,” the author says, “What I have tried to do is a satire on the modern day society, a mirror to it.” The novel travels through today's obsessions — instant celebrity hood, Page 3 culture and spiritual, moral vacuum. Along the way, it also peels off a city – Mumbai – Mathew's “Big City,” through dance bars and underworld.

Full report here Hindu

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