Guwahati  
 
logo
  Guwahati,
North East »» NPF supremo Liezietsu wins Nagaland by-poll •••SSA teachers continue hunger strike despite minister's appeal •••Bangladeshi held in Tripura with gold•••State »» AJYCP stages protest against big dam construction•••Stalemate over payment of compensation to land owners resolved•••Oikya Sena Asom stages NH-39 blockade•••National »» Curb on terror funding happened for first time: Shah•••India will continue to engage with China: Foreign Minister •••Modi calls Pranab 'father figure', hails his 'wisdom'•••International »» Musharraf: Dictators set country right, civilians ruin it•••US sanctions are 'trade war' on Russia: Medvedev•••Twitter can help in forecasting crime•••    
  Home » National News » Story
 
Wanted to mess with distinction between fiction and nonfiction: Author Amitava Kumar
 

New Delhi, July 16: Fiction and nonfiction, the two conventional genres of literature, are distinct in their narratives, structure and style. But acclaimed writer Amitava Kumar has challenged this “fixed distinction” in his new novel, saying he wanted to “mess with” it. The most outstanding feature of “The Lovers” (Aleph/Rs 599/255 pages) is that this decidedly modern novel is an intriguing mix of story and reportage, anecdote and annotation — as well as picture and text.
“Novels describe what it means to be alive at a given moment. My reportage attempts to convey that feeling — of living on a university campus in the US in the early nineties, or writing a novel at the current moment. Also, I very much wanted to play with, or mess with, the somewhat fixed distinction between fiction and nonfiction. “So, what I’m saying is that in some places the reportage is there to disrupt the idea that what you are reading is an entirely made-up story,” Kumar, who has previously written “A Matter of Rats: A Short Biography of Patna”; “Home Products”, which was shortlisted for the Crossword Prize; and “A Foreigner Carrying in the Crook of His Arm a Tiny Bomb”, told IANS in an interview.
Although he is not the first writer to have used this technique, what sets him apart is the ease with which he melds the two to give a direction to the plot. The novel is about a man in search of a love story. This man, our narrator, is Kailash — a new immigrant in the US, eager to shine. In his account of his years at a university in New York, the narrator takes us through the arc of youth and love. There is discovery and disappointment. There are the brilliant women, Jennifer and Nina, and Cai Yan. And then, there is the political texture of campus life and the charismatic professor overseeing these young men and women, Ehsaan Ali. Manifest in his first years and first loves is the wild enthusiasm of youth, its idealism, chaotic desires and confusions.
“The character of Ehsaan Ali is based on the scholar Eqbal Ahmad who was born in Gaya (Bihar) and then came to the US via Pakistan. He had a storied and celebrated life. I wanted to tell his story and I think that might have been the beginning of this novel. But to give that portrait a certain kind of depth, I surrounded it with stories of students — students whose lives had been similar to mine,” said the author, Professor of English at Vassar College in the US.
Asked if it was actually necessary to “mess with the fixed distinction between fiction and nonfiction”, the author said it is now “too late in the day to invest our belief entirely in fiction or make-believe”. He also hoped that young readers would be curious to learn about the experiences of Indian students in America, the acquisition of new knowledge, not just in the classroom but outside it — and also the discovery of love. As gifted writer and storyteller, what is his favourite aspect of writing? “To give what is imagined or made-up the feel of the real, and to do so in a way that is intelligent and provokes thought. I mean, even fake news tries to convince us of its reality but it does so mostly by appealing to your preconceived notions, your shared biases or your prejudice. How to do the opposite? To create a sense of the real and then challenge your biases. I think that is my favourite aspect of writing, and that is what I’ve tried to do in ‘The Lovers’,” he maintained. (IANS)

.
       
Maximum
 
Minimum
 
oC
oC
oC
oC
oC
oC
oC
oC
oC
oC
oC
oC
 Arunachal News
Skill India ambigious, says MP Ninong Ering
Donating blood is giving life: Kavita Acharya
Hotel owners slam police action, threaten stir
Janeth and Sophie win third prize in K-Pop event
 Meghalaya News
CM inaugurates new course at Lady Keane College
Mukul cracks the whip against 'dissidents'
Artistes group calls for exercising caution
SP warns against sharing 'unverified' posts in social media
 Northeast News
NPF supremo Liezietsu wins Nagaland by-poll
SSA teachers continue hunger strike despite minister's appeal
Bangladeshi held in Tripura with gold
 Cachar News
Santosh Mohan Dev cremated with full state honour: Rahul Gandhi pays floral tributes
Dev was media friendly
 National News
Curb on terror funding happened for first time: Shah
India will continue to engage with China: Foreign Minister
Modi calls Pranab 'father figure', hails his 'wisdom'
Maoists attack railway station, abduct employee
 International News
Musharraf: Dictators set country right, civilians ruin it
US sanctions are 'trade war' on Russia: Medvedev
Twitter can help in forecasting crime
NASA seeks officer to defend Earth from aliens
 State-1
AJYCP stages protest against big dam construction
Stalemate over payment of compensation to land owners resolved
Oikya Sena Asom stages NH-39 blockade
Deputy Commissioner reviews preparations for Gunotsav
 State-2
Sonowal inaugurates Krishnaguru Adhyatmik Vishvavidyalaya
'Investigation in Lafikul Islam murder case going in right direction'
Families of Air Force pilots who died in crash felicitated
BSF apprehends cattle smugglers
 Local Sports
GSA Badminton from today
 Sports
Pujara, Rahane tons lift India to 344/3
Klitschko QUITS
CA reach pay deal with Australia players' association
Indian athlete indicted on sex abuse charge in US
 Editorial
Choking terror finance
India marching towards self reliance
Water shortage hurting energy production
Letters to the Editor
 Op-Ed (Sunday)
Trafficking: A Moral and Economic Fight
'Rs 200 note to be issued soon, no news on scrapping Rs 2,000'
The Art of Taking
 
Assam
 
Assam is a northeastern state of India with its capital at Dispur located in the city of Guwahati.
 
more...
Nagaland
 
Nagaland is a northeastern state of India with its capital at Kohima. located in the Guwahati city.
 
more...
Mizoram
 
Mizoram is a northeastern state of India with its capital at Aizwal. located in the Guwahati city.
 
more...
Meghalaya
 
Meghalaya is a northeastern state of India with its capital at Shillong. located in the Guwahati.
 
more...
Manipur
 
Manipur is a northeastern state of India with its capital at Imphal.
 
more...
Tripura
 
Tripura is a northeastern state of India with its capital at Agartala.
 
more...
Arunachal Pradesh
 
Arunachal Pradesh is a northeastern state of India with its capital at Itanagar.
 
more...
Sikkim
 
Sikkim is a northeastern state of India with its capital at Gangtok.
 
more...
Home  |  Guwahati City  |  Editorial  |  International  |  National  |  Business  |  Arunachal  |  Meghalaya   |  Northeast  |  State  |  Cachar  |  Sports   |  Local Sports
 Archive  |  Melange  |  Saturday Fare  |  Junior Sentinel  |  Multilingual  |  About Us  |  Contact Us  |  Advertise with us  |  Dongmusa