View: Authors have to tread a fine line between being reflective and responsive

Towards that end, perhaps, many authors nowadays end up being known more for their opinions on current events than for their actual literary oeuvre.


“If she can’t have the time to sign it, why should I spare the time to read it?” the journalist said to me, only half rhetorically. Her logic was unassailable. Truly, we are pressed for time these days and a 700-page tome (translated from the Hindi original titled Ret Samadhi) requires quite a lot of investment, not only of time but also of interest. Surely that should mean authors too invest some time and energy on their potential readers?

At one of the many events held in Delhi and elsewhere to celebrate the Booker Prize winning Tomb Of Sand and its author Geetanjali Shree, I was amused to see a young journalist friend sitting in a corner looking decidedly cross. She had bought a copy of the book outside the venue – as is the norm these days – and wanted to get it signed by the writer – also a common practice now. But the author had not yet gotten round to doing so.

“If she

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