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Amrita Tripathi

Writer/ Journalist/ Time Traveller

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Blog posts : "books"

Interview with Sabyn Javeri, Author of 'Nobody Killed Her'

May 5, 2017

Here's a look at an excerpt of an interview with writer Sabyn Javeri... for Harper Broadcast.

 

 

More of our interviews are up here.

Do let me know what you think! 

Look for HarperBroadcast on Youtube/harperbroadcast. You'll find me on FB or Twitter and of course we have good old email.

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A Quick Catch Up

November 26, 2016

Hola amigos,

How has your November been? I barely kept track of where I was standing, let alone working this past month -- three (count 3!) fly-by trips to Mumbai and I felt almost like a jet-setter, if not a corporate suit... Of course my incessant day-dreaming and thinking about, living, dreaming fiction means I'll never be one, but that's a matter for another day!

My Quick Updates, as I resolve to be more organised:

Speaking engagements: 

Will be over @ The Times Lit Fest Delhi for a session tomorrow (Sunday) at 1545 on the Modern Indian Woman: Devi/ Dayan trap, feat. Kavita Kane, Swati Chaturvedi and Malavika Rajkotia

New Work:

-- Interviews over on SheThePeople

-- A piece on The Swaddle about our Parents and that Bittersweet Moment (aka the Middle Ages!) 

-- Interviews coming soon @HarperBroadcast -- Les Ecrivains Incroyables (because why not pepper English with other languages?!) Amitav Ghosh and Amruta Patil

-- The passion project that is The Health Collective! Live and awaiting some of your stories ... #MentalHealth

-- And finalement, a draft of the new novel!! Praise the universe :)

Achievement Unlocked:

-- I finally made it to an ATM -- it was empty (god bless, Nariman Point and good friends who walked me over) but who knew that an ATM crawl would replace the pub crawl of yore when visiting Maximum City?!  

Be well! 

 

 

 

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The Sibius Knot...Meet the Characters

June 27, 2016

The Sibius Knot -- an invention of my characters' (I mean, mine) -- is a book that is really rooted in the city of Delhi, starting off in the '90s or so.

A group of friends essentially get lost, as they come of age, they lose the plot, friendships unravel, and lives spiral out of control... till they start realising what's going on. Globe-trotting between Delhi and New York and back again, this ultimately is a story about love found and lost -- familial love, sibling love, love love and the strong love we feel for our friends, even when we don't know what the hell they're up to.

I hope you enjoy meeting the characters below... And hit me up when / if you do get a chance to follow them into their maze!

 

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The Sibius Knot... Awaits

May 31, 2016

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Reading from The Sibius Knot

May 21, 2016

Photo Credit: Mary Therese Kurkalang

Thanks to the Prose at Toddy series, Mridula Koshy, Anushree Majumdar, friends at The Toddy Shop, and the wonderful writers in the line-up: Amitabha Bagchi, Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan and Parvati Sharma, this was actually not entirely terrifying.

 

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The fun's just begun... if you're writing a book

May 12, 2016

Writing this was a hoot! (Well, that's the version I'm sticking with, not the sobbing in a corner while contemplating sales and print runs...wait, what?!)

You can find this on The News Minute right here and do send in your comments @amritat / @thenewsminute or share your stories. (Thanks for those who've already commented saying they share the pain!) 

 

Publishing
 
Story of a book, cover and sinker if you aren’t brave: What you have to do to get published
You would require more than just good writing.
Amrita Tripathi| Monday, April 11, 2016 - 13:22

 

 

Step 1: Write

You think of a story and decide to write it. Or a story grips you so hard that you don’t know how you’re sleep-walking through the rest of your life, but sleep-walk you must, because this is the story that has to be told. You write it or it writes you. It can be a mystical experience at the best of times, a frustrating one at the worst, but it’s fulfilling, all told.

Which is probably why so many of do it. Folks with the glimmer of an idea, those who want to tell you about the universe, reporters who feel that 2,000 words in print or 20 minutes on television never really did justice to the people they met. Some of us are honouring the flame that’s burning us up inside out. The prestige that comes with it is a nice little bonus.

And then thud, you crash into the real world.

Step 2: Wait out the rejection

Someone will tell you the story is fascinating, but perhaps too intense, so not for them. Someone else says there may be a sliver of a market, but only if you re-write the ending. Or the beginning. And re-name your characters while you’re at it.

Word to the wise? Hold on to all the positive comments you get, even from your boyfriend or grandmother, because they will be the only buffer protecting you and your naked self-esteem in the storm to come.

(Pro tip: Clutch to your heart famous authors’ rejection stories. JK Rowling is a current favourite on social media.)

If you’re lucky enough to have an editor or agent or prospective publisher, or all three, you’ll be ready and privileged to have a book come out, after this series of back and forths.

You will inevitably get sucked into a maelstrom of publicity and marketing. You might downward spiral into self-pity once this round is done, but that’s still about six months away, when you optimistically decide to check on sales.

(Pro tip: For your sanity, try not to check on sales. Or where your book is available, or why it’s not.)

Step 3: Get people to your book launch

You’re lucky if you merit a book launch party, so call everyone you know, at least once. If you’re savvier, email them, message them on FB, put it up on Twitter and invite the world, to ensure that at least half your social circle and professional circle makes it. If you’re a Somebody, they will.

The book launch party is no longer quite as de rigeur these days. Publishers are weighing the costs and benefits, and maybe they’re sick of seeing that one set of free-loading journalists who never write about books anyway… or they’re done with the elderly gentleman no one seems to know, who makes it to each book launch (and may even ask you to sign someone else’s book).

A quick note about why most everyone outside of Delhi hates would-be writers in Delhi. Access. A lot of this schmoozing and networking and bonding is yielding a disproportionate number of publishing contracts. If you meet the same handful of publishers and catch their attention, you’re likely to land yourself a few emails of interest and possibly that elusive contract. But if that’s your big game plan, the joke really is on you, because the amount you make has far less 000’s than you’d imagine. Whether it’s Amish Tripathi or Ramachandra Guha you’ve read about in the news, let’s set the record straight. Your first cheque isn’t likely to cover whatever fancy vacation you had planned.

Step 4: Spread the Word

Once the book goes to print, your real job begins. You’d better get the word out. Gone are the days when a handful of Indian writers did their thing, confident in the gravitational pull their names exerted. We all knew and read Vikram Seth, Salman Rushdie…We were reading Amitav Ghosh and feeling worthy. We knew and loved Ruskin Bond, got to know Arundhati Roy, and so it went.

Then we started to hear about a writer who created the IIT book genre, Chetan Bhagat.

Practically overnight, the dam burst. Bhagat was quickly followed by an improbable series of management types-turned writers, flooding the market, combining their swash-buckling style with slick video trailers and talk of Bollywood interest.

Then came the rom-com titles. Writers who were getting no interest from traditional publishers found Srishti Press and created legions of followers.

Ravinder Singh, who wrote ‘I Too Had a Love Story’, is regularly tweeted by readers who tell him (and those of us who follow him on Twitter) how much they love him or hard they’ve cried. Young writer Nikita Singh meanwhile has eight books to her credit, already. Eight!

Who wouldn’t envy the lakhs of readers they’re said to have? Many of us masochists who are writing because we “have to” are struggling even to sell out 4,000 copies at a go! Oh yeah, that’s the other heart-breaker. With literary fiction, your print run can be even as low as 2,500 copies in this day and age, in this country with a population of 1.2 billion. Print runs by and large remain fairly modest, 2,500 or 5,000 books, with publishers hedging their bets. You know you're big time when 10,000 books and up is the first print run. 

Step 5: Keep up the social (media) bombardment

What the commercial, ‘pulp fiction’ or mass market writers know is that selling any product takes investment and some major marketing, and they’re willing to go the whole hog. They start out with power point presentations and target audiences and slick marketing pitches, from what I understand.

It’s this attitude of treating a book as any other commodity that drives purists up the wall. But there’s no question as to who is powering sales at publishing houses. Lit fiction titles are the prestige list. (Almost like a consolation prize!)

If you’re not doing any of this and you’re not buying ad space, how do you get the word out about your book? You have to rely on reviews in a dying piece of real estate — magazines and newspapers. So you hustle. You make the rounds of those parties, looking for that dying breed known as a Book Editor. You ask whoever you can, neighbour, auntie or cousin at a newspaper or magazine. You do all the social media you can manage, ever more shamelessly, till you pretty much end with a Buy me! plea. Meanwhile, the over-worked publicist at your publishing house is trying to think of ways to pitch your book and align with a news peg.

(Pro tip: If she’s not, you’d better be doing the same!)

Then there’s the matter of the small incestuous social circle. Often the reviewer will either know a writer they’re reviewing, or have grown up with their little brother or be related to their mother’s cat or …there might be an intense rivalry we know nothing about. I don’t know why we don’t do disclaimers. (There was this brouhaha recently about a glowing review Amit Chaudhuri did in The Guardian for his former student and colleague Anjali Joseph.)

But social media has up-ended the traditional game. Reader reviews on Amazon or Twitter feedback with the right hash tag can go a long way. The flip side is that it can also lead to attacks like the troll army on journalist Barkha Dutt’s This Unquiet Land, and their campaign to get her a 1 star average review.

At the end of the day, readers really are the best judge. But as writers, we increasingly have to do what it takes to get your attention. We will ask our friends, colleagues, acquaintances, and random strangers waiting at street lights to review us on Amazon.

A few stars and a comment, is that too much to ask for?

Amrita Tripathi is a freelance journalist who writes contemporary fiction. She is the author of ‘Broken News’ and ‘The Sibius Knot’, two novels she’s not done entreating you to buy.

 

 

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What We Learn From Stories

March 28, 2016

I hugely enjoyed writing this piece for The Hindu's weekend reading section. Let me know what you think! (The longer, unedited version also follows... Bah, not for us, word count limitations!)

BOOK SCAN

The stories that keep shaping us

COMMENT (1)   ·   PRINT   ·   T  T  
 
 
“There’s nothing grimmer than fairy tales for life lessons.” Picture shows a Harry Potter fan in Sydney.
Getty Images
“There’s nothing grimmer than fairy tales for life lessons.” Picture shows a Harry Potter fan in Sydney.
 

When everything is polemic, perspective is best restored by rereading old favourites

What is it we learn about the world through books, even magical tales and alternative realities? The benefits of reading the driest non-fiction are usually taken as a given, but what about stories and storybooks, as a generation of us grew up calling them?

How else do we learn our humanity? Can you be a sentient being without having the distilled wisdom of thousands of stories in your bloodstream? Does humanity have a chance without its writers and poets? Uncensored, that is.

Back to basics

My brother is part of the generation that really started reading with Harry Potter, so if pushed, I would casually imply I used to read Rowling in solidarity, as a shared interest. You know, very What is it kids are reading these days? Never mind that the pretence was totally shattered by the time The Prisoner of Azkaban came out.

Doing a news story on the Potter phenomenon back in the day, I spoke to a sociologist who told me about the importance of fairy tales in a community, as a means to talk to children about the darker side of life… such as the actuality of death. There’s nothing grimmer than fairy tales for that sort of life lesson. The Potter series also faces very tough realities head-on, including the death of our young hero’s parents. Rowling deals masterfully with bullying and racism, highlighting the courage required to stand up to both. Anyone who’s felt like a misfit, anyone who’s ever been picked on (even if not by the most evil of dark lords) could identify.

Of course, Rowling’s series is also a magnificent ode to love and friendship. But I increasingly wonder whether that is humanity’s biggest strength, or if will prove to be our biggest delusion. Can love conquer all? If you look around, it seems increasingly unlikely.

Speaking from a world of privilege, the English-speaking urban class is caught in a maelstrom of vitriol. Everything is polemic. The conversations, such as they are, all too easily degenerate into violence. We don’t want to listen to anyone who doesn’t mimic our exact points of view, and Twitter has become the echo chamber of echo chambers, convincing us that we — not them — are the majority.

Luckily hashtags aren’t the real world and presumably people will eventually find their sense of self, and push back against the goons who are taking matters into their own hands. All those self-appointed guardians of the pure and holy who are resorting to violence will eventually have to be dealt with, not just by organs of the state machinery, but also in the realm of ideas. That’s where the real battles are — Left versus Right, my nationalism versus your patriotism.

And just as people are being urged to go back and read our Constitution, I would say, go even further back. Remember that magical place of epics and myths? Stories your grandmother would tell you about defenceless animals outwitting bullying predators? Birds versus marauding tigers? The clever fox versus the greedy lion? Mythology? Comic books? I dare anyone to read the Amar Chitra Katha on Luv and Kush and not feel the terrible injustice of Sita’s fate as decreed by her husband.

Gender bias and social justice in a comic book, imagine? Of course, in this present day and age of extreme politicisation and jingoism, we might be asking for trouble by continuing that particular conversation. But until you talk about the very things that disturb you — whether it’s the death of a loved one or countless deaths due to starvation, the targeting of people presumed guilty until proven innocent or the politics of your hitherto closest friend — until we can talk about difficult issues, there’s no real point in pretending to have a conversation.

It’s possible, if we only remembered how, to think and discuss the most meaningful things, without taking ourselves too seriously.

Three life lessons from stories, then. Empathy, courage and imagination. All powerful tools, perhaps the most essential ones to navigate life — even in these perilous times, when so many of us have not an iota of interest in listening to divergent points of view. There couldn’t be a more critical time. Read so you can reach within, so you can remember what it is to listen to another point of view, not just blindly ‘like’ or ‘RT’ into the void.

...

Read more over at The Hindu 

The unedited version is below.

-------- WITH NO THOUGHT TO WORD COUNT LIMITS AND LIMITATIONS ---------

 

LIFE LESSONS: IN DEFENCE OF READING

What is it we learn about the world through books, even magical tales and alternate realities? The 

benefits of reading the driest non-fiction are usually taken as a given, but what about stories and 

story-books, as a generation of us grew up calling them? 

How else do we learn our humanity? Can you be a sentient being without having the distilled 

wisdom of thousands of stories in your bloodstream? Does humanity have a chance without its 

writers and poets? Uncensored, that is.

***

My younger brother is a member of the generation that really started reading with Harry Potter, so 

if pushed, I would probably casually imply I used to read Ms Rowling in solidarity, as a shared 

interest. You know, very What is it kids are reading these days? Never mind that that pretence was 

totally shattered by the time Prisoner of Azkaban came out, if not even earlier.

Doing a news story on the Potter phenomenon back in the day, I spoke to a sociologist, who told 

me about the importance of fairy tales in a community, as a means to talk to children about the 

darker side of life…like the actuality of death. There’s nothing grimmer than fairy tales for that sort 

of life lesson (if you’ll forgive the pun). The Potter series also faces very tough realities head-on, 

including the death of our young hero’s parents. Rowling deals masterfully with bullying and 

racism, highlighting the courage required to stand up to both. Anyone who’s felt like a misfit, 

anyone who’s ever been picked on (even if not by the most evil of dark lords) could identify.

Of course Rowling’s series is also a magnificent ode to love and friendship, which warms the 

cockles of one’s heart. But I increasingly wonder whether that is humanity’s biggest strength or will 

it prove to be our biggest delusion. Can love conquer all? If you look around, it seems increasingly 

unlikely. 

Speaking from a world of privilege, the English-speaking urban middle class is embroiled in a 

maelstrom of vitriol. Everything is polemic. The conversations, such as they are, are all too easily 

degenerating into violence. We don’t want to listen to anyone who doesn’t mimic our exact points 

of view, and Twitter has become the echo chamber of echo chambers, convincing us that we — 

not them — are the majority. 

Luckily hash tags aren’t the real world and presumably people will eventually find their sense of 

self, and push back against the goons who are taking matters into their own hands. Self-appointed 

guardians of the pure and holy who are resorting to violence will eventually have to be dealt with, 

not just by organs of the state machinery, but also in the realm of ideas. That’s where the real 

battles are — Left vs Right, my nationalism vs your patriotism. 

And just as people are being urged to go back and read our Constitution, to read what the founding 

leaders had to say, I would say go even further. Remember that magical place of epics and folk 

tales? Childhood stories your grandmother would tell you about defenceless animals outwitting 

bullying predators? Birds vs marauding tigers? The clever fox vs the greedy lion? Mythology? 

Comic books? I dare anyone to read the Amar Chitra Katha on Luv and Kush and not feel the 

terrible injustice of Sita’s fate as decreed by her husband. Gender bias and social justice, imagine? 

In a comic book! 

Of course, in this age of extreme politicisation and jingoism, we might be asking for trouble by 

continuing that particular conversation… but until you talk about the very things that disturb you — 

whether it’s the death of a loved one, or countless deaths due to starvation, whether it’s the 

targeting of people presumed guilty until proven innocent, or the politics of your hitherto closest 

friend — until we can talk about difficult issues, there’s no real point in pretending to have a 

conversation. 

And yet it is possible to think and discuss the most meaningful things, without taking ourselves too seriously. If only we remembered how.

 

*** 

Three life lessons from stories, then. Empathy, courage and imagination. All powerful tools, 

perhaps the most essential ones to navigate life. Even in these perilous times, when so many of us 

have not an iota of interest in listening to divergent points of view. 

There couldn’t be a more critical time. Read so you can reach within, so you can remember what it 

is to listen to another point of view, not just blindly ‘like’ or ‘RT’ into the void. 

When you’re done? Read some more. 

 

*** 

Be yourself but be open to new things. 

Madeleine L’Engle taught me so much with ‘A Wrinkle in Time’, perhaps without me even realising 

it as a child. What a revelation that these slightly weird siblings Charles Wallace and Meg, with 

their issues in and out of school, could redeem themselves and be heroes, despite not being 

remotely mainstream or cool. They face their own demons and some fairly hairy intergalactic 

beasties in acts of tremendous courage. (Mrs Who, Mrs Whatsit and Mrs Which were fascinating in 

and of themselves.) 

What about courage to say you’re wrong? And how about the lesson that we’re all flawed? Even if 

you were busy tackling Pride and Prejudice to satisfy your crush on Mr Darcy, while identifying with 

Elizabeth Bennett, what a blow to the system to have to examine your own prejudices and biases 

— wait, what, we all have them? And pride? Interesting concept!

I might never forgive Jo and Laurie for not getting together, but in Little Women, you learn 

something profound too, about sacrifice and relationships, and about going beyond the superficial. 

Do you remember Amy and her obsession with her nose? Sister, please! I’m pretty sure she’d be 

right at home in our selfie taking, constantly instagramming world. Jo’s character is probably the 

most fleshed out and the most inspiring, from a young girl’s point of view. Beauty and brains? 

Check. An adventurous spirit? Check, check. Slightly annoying that she used to keep getting 

rapped for her independent streak, but again, bring her to the 21st century and aspects still 

resonate.  

 

You may not know any druids — I fear they are in short supply — but who doesn’t love them? 

From Gandalf to Getafix, I was always quietly reassured that there were wise old souls in the 

landscape who could set things right. Not just wisdom-filled about the mysteries of the universe, 

either, they have a sense of humour and are more than willing to get their hands dirty, when 

required. Of course now, I realise there should have been way more women in these roles too… 

but it’s never too late to start. 

 

That’s the beauty of imagination. And yes, role models are important. If you can see it, you can be 

it. Stories define the outer limits of our imagination and show us that there need be no hard and 

fast boundaries. That we can be whoever we choose to be, the limits of our dreams are defined by 

our own imagination, even if our lives become mundane affairs. That’s a place of refuge like no 

other. 

 

And what about your everyman hero? From The Lord of the Rings, there’s an empowering 

emphasis on regular folk who were underestimated at every step of the way. Who really thought a 

little hobbit would even make it to and through Mordor, let alone end up destroying the evil ring? 

He might have lost that last battle, of course, without his arch-enemy Gollum, but in that too lies a 

lesson (vocalised by Gandalf to Frodo earlier on, to never be too eager to impart death or 

judgement). 

As an adult, Frodo’s best friend Sam strikes me as even more of a hero, though I used to find him 

a bit of a bore, earlier. But where would this quest be without that steadfast friendship? Without 

that fellowship?

 

For those of us fatalistic in our bones, there’s also the gift of knowing that even if you’re 

guaranteed an apocalyptic ending — like in my beloved Norse mythology — it doesn’t stop you 

from being yourself, expressing yourself, making mountains of mischief if that’s what keeps you 

going (here’s looking at you, Loki). Live your life to the max. The big picture might be grim — and 

isn’t that a fact, planeteers, we are heading into environmental doomsday mode — but you fight 

the good fight, speak your mind and keep on going. 

 

Even if you know the sky will eventually fall on your heads, like that one indomitable Gaulish 

village. There’s an admirable courage in that.

 

Amrita Tripathi is a freelance journalist who writes contemporary fiction. She is the author of ‘The 

Sibius Knot’ and ‘Broken News’.

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Catching up...

March 24, 2016

Happy Holi, all! Hope you had a fun, safe, colourful day...whether you played or no! What's not to love about a long weekend, eh?

Catching up on here, with a little house-keeping and such-like. Also here's part of an interview with a wonderful debut writer, Arjun Nath, a recovered addict, who takes us on quite a journey with 'White Magic'.

As always, let me know what you think... and if you do get a chance, highly recommend you read this book!

 

MEET THE WRITER

First person: Untold stories from the author of a brutally honest book on recovering from drugs

‘There’s always been this thing that will comfort you, which is the drug, which is not there anymore’.

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This and That... to kick off the year

January 5, 2016

How's everyone settling into the new year? New rhythm? I still haven't found my stride yet, veering between productivity and major procrastination. I suppose that is the human condition!

So for the moment, am just keeping my promise about book reccos. These were (respectively) the last book I read in 2015 and the first of the sparkly new year!

 

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

Well, I certainly came to this one late -- it was published in the early 1940s! What a miss. Such a phenomenal, powerful tale, I wholeheartedly recommend it. Even if you think that things have changed a whole lot since the '40s, and you're blithely uninterested in the human experience, or coming of age. This is a transformative book about the human spirit, the will to survive and the quest for a better life. I had no references for Brooklyn from way back when, but yes, it's true, things sure have changed. And yet, urban poverty, the grind for survival, that's something that echoes... and people can empathise if not identify with, an epoch and a continent away.

A huge thanks to Ananya and Ratna for lending me their well-thumbed copy. 

 

 

 

The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley

One wonders sometimes about fate and such things. With a surname like the author's perhaps this was inevitably a book (or at least a title!) that was preordained. The story is a marvellous one, transporting the reader to 19th century England and Japan -- I did have to keep flipping pages to keep track of the dates of different chapters (so thank goodness I was reading a physical book, not a Kindle version this time). 

The characters are superbly interesting and the story itself -- of clairvoyance and a police investigation, of racism and an immigrant experience, of loneliness and the hum-drum we so quickly let ourselves get sucked into -- was captivating. I wasn't entirely convinced by one plot point towards the end, but the ending itself perhaps was... inevitable. Let me know if this one catches your fancy. 

A big thanks to Pallavi for discerning that I was the reader for this one, and lending it to me.

 

 

Having lost track of what I'm meant to be reading next, I will leave you with this, which appeared in Scroll on the last day of the last year. 

Do let me know what you think, and here's wishing you a fabulous adventure-filled new year. Don't forget to stop by with your comments on what you're reading, or what you're waiting for.  

 

Three novels and an investigation to remember the year for

Reputed authors returned and didn’t disappoint; nor did a study of a murder and a trial.
 
24.1K
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It’s hard to shortlist the best books of any given year, but in the interests of a curated, well-rounded list of wonderful Indian books published in English, here’s a closer look at what I enjoyed reading this past year. It’s a very subjective list, as any readers’ list is bound to be.

Indian publishing being what is, and our jobs being what they are in the media, I have also had the great good fortune of meeting all the writers on this list. Their work more than speaks for itself, and I am delighted to recount that the reading relationships also survived the real-life encounters intact. (It isn’t always the case, but that’s another story!)

She Will Build Him a City, Raj Kamal Jha
One of my favourite books this year. Many things about this book took my breath away, but what has really stayed with me is the story of a fundamental, powerful love – the mother towards her taciturn daughter, who has suffered beyond anything she can imagine. The giants that the daughter imagines being as a child – those giants aren’t just a comfort to the mother, but balm to the reader’s soul. I still find them comforting!

All of this is against the backdrop of a violent plot, which shines a mirror on a darker, more twisted urban reality than one we usually want to contemplate, morning news aside. The Metro plays a pivotal role in a story which tracks the changing face of a city that seems to be crumbling around us, its fabric rent by all kinds of brutalities. I may never take a Metro ride in quite the same way again… I plan to closely observe the brooding, quieter passengers, so consider this fair warning! The power of the story apart, there is so much beating heart in this one.
...
More on Scroll here

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The Sibius Knot ... hits Bombay

March 23, 2015

Soon.

Nerves? Check. Fingers? Crossed. Looking forward to seeing some of you at the event on Friday.

'Upstairs Studio' and HarperCollins are hosting -- so if you're looking for an invite, hit us up.

Before that, though, here's one of my favourite photos of all time. Incredible people, incredible vibe:

 

 

 

 

 

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Where/ How to buy The Sibius Knot

February 24, 2015

The Sibius Knot, Amrita Tripathi's second novel resides at a store near you! 

And online:
 

For Your Kindle : http://bit.ly/1v0dxoz 
Amazon: http://bit.ly/1EmUutM
Flipkart: http://bit.ly/1JoOSG9

URead: http://bit.ly/1DQVKaf

 

 

 

 

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Launching a book...

February 15, 2015
 

 

 

 

 

I was absolutely delighted to be able to launch my second novel The Sibius Knot on Friday the 13th, in Delhi. Lady Kishwar Desai was a wonderful interlocutor, and the presence of family and friends made it an overall warm, cosy, fuzzy experience. And looks like we sold us some books, too!

The discussion was about cults, the Devil/ Darkness, how fragile relationships are and much more!

Here's hoping The Sibius Knot finds its readers! 

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Kindle edition!

February 5, 2015

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Readers' Reactions

January 26, 2015

Some of you have been tweeting your reactions - a couple of the first tweets to come in for The Sibius Knot:

 

 

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We Did It!

January 26, 2015

Thoroughly enjoyed the Jaipur Literature Festival, and all the sessions I got to moderate! Perhaps understandably, I was most nervous before my first session -- this was where I was talking about my own book, after all. This is where The Sibius Knot made its debut! And we had a bit of a book signing afterwards. 

I thought it might be interesting to put up the email q&a with Anindita Ghose, Features Editor at Vogue India, ahead of our session at the Jaipur Lit Fest. (Was tempted to remove the smileys, but have left them in... judge away!)

 

1. Was Broken News almost entirely autobiographical? 

 

Broken News (and indeed TSK) is fiction - it's not drawn from life but is real to life, I feel - it talks about the frenetic pace of 24/7 news, it talks about relationships fraying under that kind of pressure, and also the wave of young people coming in essentially wanting to become stars. (This still holds true!) But the story also worked in sexual harassment, people looking the other way, how easy it is to lose track of reality and perspective.

 

(In some broad sense, as I'm writing this to you,I realise that is a common theme with TSK - losing perspective/ losing oneself is remarkably easy, even in this hyper-connected world)

 

 2. What drove you to address fucked up 90s kids and mental health in your second book? Was there a moment of sorts? Any literary inspirations for The Sibius Knot?

 

I don't think anyone's really written our generation's reality yet - but it's quite possible, I've not been reading those who are doing so. Deepti's book I have been meaning to read - I was in her batch at school for a year, actually! So we have friends in common and do know each other :)

I think that adolescence and young adulthood can be devastating - it's remarkably easy to not just lose yourself, but say, OD and die. It's remarkably easy to not realise there is help available... And depression is a nasty beast -- under-discussed even in urban India. I have done several stories on mental health, and that forms the basis of some of the research - the fact that 1 in 4 people at some point will suffer some sort of depression to me was a mind-blowing revelation. India still has a long way to go, but I think the younger lot - the millennials - are much more clued in to a lot of stuff. They're also more plugged in and driven and practical, so I suppose that also fascinated.

No direct literary inspirations as such - but I love Murakami, Neil Gaiman, and just discovered David Mitchell (after writing TSK... and I think LB's character would fit in with one of those in Bone Clocks, at some very fundamental level!)

 

 3.    Are a lot of your characters composite characters?

 

I'm not entirely sure - some of them I got to know while writing this book, and they sort of decided who they were going to be - I found their voice by tapping into something, that's for sure! But some of them have a specific take-off point - or some of the conversations will be triggered by a line that strikes me from somewhere... If that helps answer the q!

 

 4.    Did you have an agent ( I ask because Deepti's agent David Godwin has been talking about a "bold, radical Indian female voice" emerging)

 

Yes, for this book, my agent is Shruti Debi of Aitken Alexander (UK-based)

 

 5.    Were you worried about offending people (family, friends) while writing the book? Were there any repercussions from the time you wrote Broken News? As a writer at what point do you stop caring about what family/friends will think? 

 

I wasn't worried about offending anyone, but I wanted to sensitise some of my family and closest friends - this book is very very different from Broken News, and I wanted to make sure they're aware it's got a darker theme and is quite strange! It's not what people who know me/ even are acquainted with me are expecting, that's for sure. 

I'm so glad you read it, I have to say! My first reader :) I'm going to tweet that, actually!

 

With Broken News: people were expecting a tell-all, so some colleagues were maybe disappointed not to be reading who's sleeping with whom, etc! :) 

But there have been interesting reactions, which thanks to Twitter, one gets exposure to- and one of them was recently when the Tejpal case came out, someone wrote to say it was eerily reminiscent of my book. What can I say.

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January 26, 2015

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