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What do stories mean? What lessons can we learn from them?  As a History major at the University, I’ve wrestled with these questions for a while. What could be a more legitimate account than History-capital-H? What could be truer than something buttressed by books, supported by sources, established by experts, proofread by professors, and printed on […]
In the Beginning, there was the Word.  Really?  Not for me. I couldn’t even speak or read English until I was seven or so. I have dim childhood memories of opening storybooks, and pretending to read them to my toys. At the kindergarten, Mummy was embarrassed because I happily spoke more Hokkien (grandfather’s Chinese dialect) […]
In my time as a writer, I’ve taken part in maybe five or six NaNoWriMos. NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, is an event where participants around the world sprint towards writing 50,000 words in the month of November. The idea is, we all want to write a novel ‘someday’ and the best way to […]
I recently watched the very enjoyable Amazon/BBC adaptation of Good Omens, starring Michael Sheen and David Tennant. Good Omens has been one of my favourite books since I first read it as a teenager. At that time, there was no such thing as the internet. If I wanted to find out if Aziraphale had a computer and […]
One of my earliest memories is sitting next to my father in the study room of my childhood house, watching him play a game called Betrayal at Krondor. He led a party of three through the high fantasy world of Midkemia, fighting monsters, gossiping at taverns, and unlocking treasure chests. In the Krondor games, the […]
Love means you breathe in two countries—Naomi Shihab Nye In the first few weeks of my MA in Creative Writing, I showed a creative nonfiction piece I had written to a visiting writer-in-residence. It was about the Brixton riots of 2011, where looters set fire to a Foot Locker just down the road from where […]
When I was about six years old, an exotic older cousin from Mombasa taught me how to skip. She was sixteen, spoke several languages I couldn’t and treated me like a real person. I was in love within five minutes of meeting her. Before she taught me rope tricks, I was able to skip on […]
In my previous two blog posts, I’ve talked about my love affair with English literature, encouraged and nurtured by schoolteachers in India who did the best with what was available. Reading Milton, Byron, Wordsworth, Hardy, Lamb, Austen, Bronte, Woolf and a legion of writers from the 18th – 20th centuries started me on the career […]
The year I turned seventeen I fell in love with a cynical older man who was unaware of my existence; causing devastation in a heart that would never heal. I used this unusual experience and wrote a story about it. It was imaginatively titled ‘A Matter of Destiny,’ and published by an Indian women’s magazine […]
English novelist Thomas Hardy was an unlikely role model for a book-obsessed young girl growing up in India, but I credit Hardy, and the Romantic poets, with my initiation into writing. Something about Hardy’s grimness appealed enormously. I named the hero in my own novel after Hardy’s Gabriel, that laconic and patient farmer who knows, […]
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