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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Author Interview : Sriram Karri, author of 'Autobiography of a Mad Nation' - Part 2



Sriram Karri
This is the second part of the much awaited Sriram Karri’s 'Epic' 'Autobiography of a Mad Nation' Interview. Following the first section is this part, where he discusses what it was that was most challenging about the book and also, how it was that the political and social backgrounds have affected his writing.



Also, about the three books he is writing and also his favourite authors. All this, and much more. So, do, Read up, Folks…


TN Seshan
What was the most challenging part about writing this book?



Balancing the history and real with the needs of the plot and deleting what was a great essay but did not belong to the novel. ‘Show, not tell’, the credo, is very challenging when you pass the test for every line in a book.



I lost large parts on T N Seshan, P V Narasimha Rao, and my intellectual views on the past, and rightly, they are my views, not what the characters said. So, sacrificing the loved narrative and writing, for the sake of the story was the hardest but essential part of being from the romantic school of writing.


How did the political and social background of India affect your writing?



Completely, it is the canvas but the canvas should not dominate the painting, and that was the fun and challenge. In the end, the painting is the product and canvas was a needed toll, not the other way around.



Could you tell the readers about your experiences and how it was related to what you wrote?


We all were born and lived so far, in a nation that goes mad – they feel it. In fact, non-Indians who read it told me that it makes the think of their own country, so that my every experience that went into writing will become the experience of the reader now and they will know how I felt because they will feel it.


What is the most fulfilling part, now that you have written your book?


That is was written and is there for the readers.



That it was a kind of book that is not just difficult but nearly impossible to try writing but it happened against all odds and will now chart its destiny.



Any advice to writers that would like to be published today? How tough is it to be published?



Go out there and conquer. It is hard, but not impossible.


Who was it that told you that you could become the author, you are today?


All those great characters I read since as a child; all those great authors who wrote them and whispered across the ages, and my mother.


What is the next book that you have planned?


Writing three of them in parallel – waiting for the moment when one will consume me completely, enough to ignore all else and sprint.


Thomas Piketty
Which book are you currently reading?


I recently finished Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar’s, ‘The Mysterious Ailment of Rupi Baskey’, which was on the shortlist of The Hindu Book Prize. I have just started re-reading Thomas Piketty's ‘Capitalism in the 21st Century’.


Who are your favourite authors and why?


Besides the trio of Victor Hugo, Fyodor Dostoyevsky and Ayn Rand, my favourite storytellers are J D Salinger, Oscar Wilde, Albert Camus, R L Stevenson, Charles Dickens, Franz Kafka, Joseph Heller, George Orwell, and R K Narayan. You can imagine, we all have long lists. This is just some of the best names from all those whose writings have made life beautiful.


What else do you do on a daily basis?


I work as a brander and communications expert in a technology company. I am also by the side, working on some patents and a start-up, and write columns and articles. I am also a very involved debater and often participate in debates.


What advice do you have for the young writers of today?


Don’t bother with any advice someone like me can give.


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