Tuesday, August 9, 2011

For Old Times’ Sake

Some years ago, Chetan Bhagat did the unthinkable: he made young and restless Indians read his tales of urban India in conversational English. Soon, Indians were craving for stories of the country by home-grown authors. This need is now being met by writers who are giving Indian history and mythology a contemporary twist. The result has been rewarding — Ashwin Sanghi’s Chanakya’s Chant, Anish Sarkar’s Benaami, and The Immortals of Meluha by Amish rule the bestseller lists.

Though authors such as Devdutt Pattanaik, Ashok Banker and William Dalrymple have retold stories from Indian mythology and history, the trend of using these for commercial fiction seems to be a recent one. Sanghi believes that these stories establish an immediate connection with the readers and make for gripping backdrops. “The initial hook for a commercial fiction paperback in this genre must necessarily come from the ancient. Once the reader is hooked, then it does not matter if the story is history-oriented or not,” he says.

Full report here Indian Express

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