Q. From ‘Edge of Empire’ to ‘The Dawn Watch’ how do you think you will trace your journey; if you get a chance to retrospect and look back?
I am a Professor of History and I would say that these books represent an ongoing representation of how power and people move across borders and I have explored that same theme in different places in the world in different times in the world and to an extent on different scales. I have also with each of these books tried to write them in ways that will be of interest to specialist historians, academic and also to a wider audience. And with my most recent book ‘The Dawn Watch’ I was most conscious of my desire to reach a wider audience because I was writing about a novelist who himself obviously is writing in a register about a different type of reader he is interested in. So, I was writing the book in a way that would be particularly appealing to the readers of fiction.
Q. Has History been always this close to your heart and was this the only reason you write in this genre?
Yes, I am a historian by training. I like to tell stories and from when I was very young I always had a curiosity about how things got to be the way they are, I also always had a great love of literature and in a sense history is the combination of these two. It’s the story about how we got to where we are.
Q. Have you ever thought of writing a book that is pure fiction generic?
Not fiction, but I am definitely planning to keep on writing in ways that I think will help to bring out the story within history and will also be of interest to non-academic readers.
Q. How has the experience at Kolkata Literature Festival 2018 been for you?
Well, my mother is a Bengali and I have almost have been here ten times. But, I am very glad to be here for this, but I still have not got a chance to look around the stalls and fair, so I am looking forward to doing that.