Amitav Ghosh on the Novel

ABU DHABI - “I enjoy writing and spending time researching, so the next volume of the ‘Sea of Poppies’ you might see in two years or so.

by

Silvia Radan

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Published: Thu 19 Mar 2009, 1:35 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 8:30 PM

“I’m superstitious in this way, I feel it’s bad luck to talk about it in advance about my book, so I can’t really give away anything from thesecond volume.

“What’s important in a novel today? Well, like you said so nicely, it is the colour — and the sound — of language, which is much harder than research.

“In many ways, the novel of the 21st century goes back to the 19th century writings. Last century there was a powerful European and, in general, western domination, but now, just like in the 19th or even 18th century people of all corners of the world come together, there is a unity of cultures.

“Balzac and Thomas Mann are a great source of inspiration to me. I spent a lot of time in Egypt, so many Arabic writers also have a powerful influence on my writing, especially the Sudanese writer Tayyib Al Salah and his book ‘Season of Migration to the North’.

“I live partly in Brooklyn, butIndia is the only source ofinspiration for my books, becausethe India I come from is very rich in stories, legends, myths and this is what I know best.

“In the Arab world, book sales are very small, so a bookfair like this has a huge impact on introducing literary life to people”.

silvia@khaleejtimes.com


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