Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Lighten up, you guys!

I remember someone asking the woman writer who was present at the book reading of "The Manticore's Secret" (by Samit Basu, who happens to be my favourite Indian writer at present) about why women writers write such gloomy books. Reading Kiran Desai's Booker winning "The Inheritance of Loss", I kept wondering why women writers lack the wit to make something more bearable. Indian writers seem to stick to the tried and tested mould, which gets a little too tedious. The last Indian woman writer who made me laugh was Arundhati Roy (lets deal with the language issues separately, ok?).

And its not just the women, the men are equally ponderous and self conscious. And the judges at the Booker seem to just lap it up. I'll make an exception for Rushdie, who was sheer genius when he got the Booker for Midnight's Children.Why does the Booker have to go to something serious (DBC Pierre was less reverent, but did conform to Booker specifications)? Why can't Samit Basu win a Booker? Because his book is such a delightful, spoofy SFF?

Also read Kurt Vonnegut's delightful "Sirens of Titan". Now realize where Douglas Adams got his inspiration from. Vonnegut is probably the wittiest SF writer I've read. Loved the Big Brother/apocalypse imagery as well. Slaughter House Five is on my must read list. Love Landmark for making such amazing books accessible!

No comments: