Interview with Anita Pratap, writer, journalist, media person

Anita PratapAnita Pratap! I guess people who followed current affairs closely in the eighties, nineties and early years of the millennium will find a thrill of recognition at this name.

Veteran journalist and writer Anita Pratap won acclaim for her reports from areas of conflict such as Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and Kashmir. She won several and won awards after award for excellence in reporting, including the prestigious George Polk award for TV reporting for excellence in coverage on the Taliban takeover of Kabul. She worked for over two decades with international media houses such as the TIME magazine and CNN. Anita’s historic interview of the LTTE chief Prabhakaran in 1983, the first ever one he gave to the world, made news. Her interview of Bal Thackeray during the Mumbai riots of 1993 for the TIME was a revelatory piece that initiated serious discussion worldwide.

Her dynamic, perceptive and acerbic writing, especially when talking about politics has given her a cult status, in both print and electronic media. She is the author of book the Island Of Blood, a sensitive and clear documentation of the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka and co-authored Unsung, an ode to ordinary Indians doing extraordinary things. She is now into film making after she left India to live abroad.

In an e-mail interview, Anita speaks about issues close to her heart. She was in Trivandrum to receive the Shreeratna Award 2013 from the Kerala Kalakendram. on the International Women’s Day. Continue reading “Interview with Anita Pratap, writer, journalist, media person”

Living with Words : Anees Salim, An Interview

Anees Salim - Author
Anees Salim - Author
Pix Rights : The Hindu

This is the stuff that dreams are made of. A college dropout turns ace advertising professional, and publishes not one but four novels in quick succession – and that too, all four in the span of a single year with publishing houses of reputations that make you sit up and take notice. Anees Salim, newly minted author and Creative Director, FCB Ulka, Kochi, though, is one who shies away from the limelight.

He has made it clear that he’s not available for the traditional tour of cities following the release of a book. ‘No book releases for me’ – Anees has posted on his Facebook page, which has loads of followers thanks to his crisp wit. Anees’ pseudonym Hasina Mansoor had quite the following on Facebook too. She later became the protagonist of the novel Tales From A Vending Machine . In fact, it is in the guise of Hasina Mansoor itself that Anees sent out his first manuscript “as the opening pages of her autobiography” to agents and publishers. The book was picked up by a literary agent and sold to a publisher in no time. Continue reading “Living with Words : Anees Salim, An Interview”

Engaging Literary Sojourn: Tania James

Tania James
Tania James
Pix Credit : Ashish Tagra

Tania James was brought up in Kentucky in the United States and is now a resident of Washington DC. But when this native of Kottayam chose to write fiction, Kerala figured a lot in her work. Following a Harvard degree in filmmaking and a Master of Fine Arts from Columbia, Tanya decided to become an author. Tania’s critically-acclaimed debut novel, Atlas Of Unknowns (2009) from Knopf gathered several honours including being short-listed for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature. Continue reading “Engaging Literary Sojourn: Tania James”

Blurring identities

The Lover Inside, an adaption of Harold Pinter’s The Lover, is a comment on the institution of marriage.

The Lover is one of Harold Pinter’s early works and one that well-represents the playwright’s style. In this contemporary one-act play, Pinter observes a regular English household with a pretentious couple. Continue reading “Blurring identities”

Managing narratives

daman singh
daman singh
Pic courtesy : The Hindu

Author and rural development expert Daman Singh tells Suneetha B. in an email interview about her books and her motivation for writing fiction. Daman Singh will be in the city to participate in the Kovalam Literary Festival.

She says she is “actually a part-time writer” and her other occupations are that of “a housekeeper, child-sitter and dog walker.” But bibliophiles know Daman Singh as an author and expert in rural development. She also happens to be Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s daughter. Her academic pedigree is equally impressive with a resume that includes degrees from St. Stephen’s, Delhi, and Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA). Continue reading “Managing narratives”

Emerging Voice

sahira thangal
sahira thangal
Pic Credit : Yentha.com

In conversation Saheera Thangal, who has bagged the first Emerging Writer Award, tells Suneetha B that her literary flights are powered by her passion for writing.

“Her poetry is ‘a surprise that has opened a door and stepped out.’ Its intensity makes me laugh and cry at the same time.” The late Kamala Suraiyya wrote this blurb for a debut poetry collection titled Njanenna Ottavara (Me, the Single Line) by Saheera Thangal in 2007. The introduction to this collection was written by none other than poet K. Satchidanandan. Saheera’s Malayalam novel Rabia was also well received for its excellent craft and bold theme – polygamy. Continue reading “Emerging Voice”

On a Roll

Mridula Koshy

Mridula Koshy

Meet Mridula Koshy is one of the finalists for the Vodafone-Crossword Fiction Prize of 2009.

Mridula Koshy is on a roll. This former professional trade union worker-turned-writer’s anthology of tight, layered short fiction, If It Is Sweet, is one of the finalists for the Vodafone-Crossword Fiction Prize of 2009. Continue reading “On a Roll”