Sunday, May 2, 2010

‘I've always been a writer'

With his first short story collection, Quarantine, being released recently, Rahul Mehta talks about sexuality, writing and acceptance.

Rahul Mehta's short-story collection Quarantine is about young gay men and their relationships with their families and lovers. Written with unusual tenderness and insight, the book represents a coming out of sorts for Mehta, a U.S.-based lecturer whose relatives in India don't yet know that he is homosexual.

When did you first develop an interest in writing, and specifically creative writing?
I've always been a writer. Even when I was 13 or 14, I was telling people that I was going to be a writer. In ninth grade once, we had to do a research project on a career that we were interested in. When we had to submit our proposals for our projects, I chose “writer”, and my teacher wrote back, “That's not a career. Choose something else.” So I shadowed an advertising executive.

To be fair to my teacher, I don't think she was necessarily trying to discourage me. I think she was just trying to get me to be practical, to save me from a difficult path. Much later, in grad school, one of my professors said a similar thing. She said she always tells her students who want to become writers, “If you can do something else, do it. If you can't: God help you, and welcome.”

Full report here Hindu

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