Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Caine Prize for African Writing 2011

Just received The Caine Prize for African Writing 2011 anthology by mail. Thanks! Treat this post as an acknowledgment. I have received the last edition and it was such a treat to read. I hope this is an equally wonderful volume as the last.

There's such vividness and wondrous rootedness to the locality in African writing which is, however, lacking in the writing of my peers in India. Things come out in all earnest and rawness. After all, most of our literature is generated by the western educated (preferable non-resident) Indian. A Cambridge or Harvard education seems to be a sine qua non. Oh, you should hear the uppity accents in writer meets and writer soirees. True British, or "Friends-ish (the sitcom, I mean.)." I have written about this before, but nobody seems to care. Is it lack of talent, or our education system which is to blame? The other day I saw a man in train reading a Chetan Bhagat novel with his fingers pointing to the line he was reading. I guess he is a new convert to reading and he is starting with someone he can understand. This I like. My son also reads Chetan Bhagat and thinks he is a great writer. Hm. I don't think he can digest Salman Rushdie, or Amitav Ghosh.

I have tried to write with local themes and local speech - nothing great according to my son - but the results have been, at best, lukewarm.

Look forward to gorging on the stories in the present Caine Prize volume titled "To See the Mountain".

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