Monday, August 22, 2011

Identity matters

Sweta Srivastava Vikram describes her novel, Perfectly Untraditional, as a happy immigrant tale

Sweta Srivastava Vikram — an award-winning writer who has been based out of New York — is enthusiastic about her new novel — Perfectly Untraditional (Niyogi Books, Rs. 350).

Launched last week at Landmark, Perfectly Untraditional is a happy immigrant story”. With the theme of identity dominating writing in English in India, how is Sweta's book any different? “People don't always move away from home in search of a better life or for earning more money. For me, distance gave me a perspective. After moving to the States, there were many aspects to India that I began to discover afresh.”

That said, the novel is character driven. It revolves around Shaili Kapoor – a writer working in New York trying to connect to India after her mother's death. The book portrays the extreme emotions of a girl who struggles to bond with her father back in Pune. “I've viewed my characters from the lens of circumstances. There's a Jekyll and Hyde in all of us. Depending on the nature of the circumstance the character is put through, either of those sides is manifested,” says the Columbia University graduate. The novel also explores relationships among women. Shaili discovers she is a lesbian in her late twenties. “Shaili can't understand why she was unhappy despite being in a happy marriage. It's only when she moves away and gets intimate with her friend that she realises her conflict.”

FUll report here Hindu

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