#KLF18 Exclusives: An Interview with Preti Taneja

_MG_2639.JPGQ. “Assimilation, Exodus, Eradication” to “We that are Young” how would you be describing your journey?

All of my writings are inspired by advocacy and the desire to do something which takes part in creating social justice. So, even when I am writing about human rights abuses that minorities from linguistic ethnic committees just suffer or I am trying to capture in my fiction how human beings of different classes or caste treat each other. It is really fueled by a sense of trying to open the world up so that we can see each other as equal.

2.What flickered the very thought of “We that are Young: A Novel”?

We that are young are based on Shakespeare’s “King Lear” and it is told from the perspective of five young people in the play. For me, it began when I was eighteen and was studying the play at school, and I really began to think that the people in the play are being misunderstood and are being forced to position and behave badly for the society that they were living in. when I think about what is happening in India, I feel how generational damage is something that we all have to deal with all the time. So, the two things go together really well.

3.When you look into the classics that you have grown up with and compare the development of the story and character. What is the most striking difference to you?

All writers inspire each other, whether or not we take one idea or another, or something structural. The way writers play with words, language or fuse ideas. So, you are always working in a kind of tradition but the real purpose of new contemporary fiction is to take those traditions, break the language and make something new, make something feel fresh.

4.How important is the usage of emotions to you as a writer?

No, as a writer doing my work, I think my most important work is listening and observing. And emotions come when you have gathered so much information that suddenly everything has to find a way, an outlet that triggers our emotions.

5.How has Kolkata Literature Festival 2018 been for you?

I am overwhelmed by the size of the festival and just how many people are reading and enjoying books in different languages. It is incredible to be here, it’s my first time in the city. I am very enthusiastic about it.



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