Welcome to the February 2019 issue of Writers in Conversation. In this issue we publish four new interviews with writers from India (novelist Jerry Pinto and poet Sanjukta Dasgupta), Sri Lanka (novelist and poet Daya Dissanayake) and Australia (novelist Steven Carroll), and we are also reprinting a 1994 interview by R.P. Rama with Sri Lankan author Yasmine Gooneratne, who lived and taught in Australia for many years.
The links between Australia, India and Sri Lanka are many and varied, and it is pleasing that this selection of interviews reflects this in many ways. The interview with Australian novelist Steven Carroll also reflects international literary links with authors such as T.S. Eliot and Iris Murdoch.
The interviews range in style from formal text-based interviews conducted by email, sometimes with more than one interviewer contributing, to transcripts of informal face-to-face conversations edited for publication.
We hope you enjoy this varied collection of conversations with writers.
Gillian Dooley and Nick Turner (editors)
We are very pleased to bring you the August 2018 issue of Writers in Conversation, the tenth edition, which rounds out our fifth year of publication. As is always our aim, we again include interviews with writers in a variety of styles and forms – poets, novelists, non-fiction writers – with wide-ranging interests and approaches to their craft.
Nadira Brioua and Mohammad Quayum interview Umm Zakiyyah, a prominent African-American novelist born in New York whose novels explore the urgent challenges faced by Muslims in the USA since 11 September 2001. Arup Chatterjee brings us an absorbing conversation with London’s ‘deep topographer’, Nick Papadimitriou, following on from his discussion with Papadimitriou’s friend and associate, British writer Will Self, in the February issue.
Our indefatigable colleague Jaydeep Sarangi has provided two interviews for this issue. His animated discussion with Sharmila Ray, Indian poet and essayist writing in English, covers many topics, including the genesis of her poetry, her thoughts on the Kolkota literary scene and her reaction to the perennial question of why an Indian poet writes in English. Jaydeep also spoke to Nakul Mallik, a Bangla-Dalit writer-activist, on his development as a writer and the important work he continues to do to promote the cause of the Dalit community in Bengal. And in turn, Jaydeep, himself a distinguished poet, is interviewed for this issue by Ruchi Singh.
To round out the issue, your editor Gillian Dooley spoke to her friend and colleague Danielle Clode, a remarkable and prolific creative non-fiction writer who writes on science and natural history. Our discussion particularly centred on her new book about Australian naturalist Edith Coleman, The Wasp and the Orchid, her first foray into full-length biography.
We hope you enjoy the variety of voices represented here, from a truly international collection of authors, and we extend our gratitude as always to both interviewers and interviewees.
Gillian Dooley and Nick Turner,
Letter from the Editors
Welcome to the February 2018 issue of Writers in Conversation. We are delighted to publish our ninth collection of interviews with a diverse selection of writers at work today: novelists, poets, translators and academics from across the globe. This allows us to see world literature in microcosm: innovative, passionate, transnational and political.
Despite the variety of the writers, some questions and themes recur. Postcolonial literature plays a large role, as do accompanying questions of politics, geography, race, religion, immigration and diaspora. Two of the writers (Bama Faustina Soosairaj and Kapilkrishna Thapur) are activists from India; one is an indigenous writer (Leane Betasamosake Simpson) from Canada, and one the prominent British author, academic and journalist Will Self. The work of the leading world writer J.M. Coetzee is the subject of an article bringing together the insights of five of his translators, something else highly pertinent to questions of world writing.
We are delighted to have a mixture of writers here from the very well-known to the as yet lesser known, writers who merit attention for their politics, their stories and the feelings they portray. We firmly believe not in ‘The Death of the Author’ but in the author’s paramount importance. We hope you enjoy reading the interviews as much as we did – and if you think you have something that would interest us, please do send it!
Nick Turner and Gillian Dooley
Welcome to the August 2017 issue of Writers in Conversation. In this issue, we feature a variety of interviews showing different approaches to the written word.
Mamang Dai, a poet and novelist based in Arunchal Pradesh, India, talks to Jaydeep Sarangi about being an English-language writer with a background in the oral tradition of the Adi people. Goutam Karmakar talks to Kerala poet K.V. Dominic about a distinguished career in literature and academia. B.N. Gaikwad and Sumeet R. Patil interview Gail Omvedt, American-born activist now based in India, about her work in the anti-caste movement. Poet Subodh Sarkar talks to Jaydeep Sarangi about his early life as the son of a refugee from East Bengal and the struggle to make a life in writing and academia. And lastly, artist Carol Sommer talks to Frances White about her project using the novels of Iris Murdoch as material in her process art.
We hope you enjoy this rich and varied issue.
Gillian Dooley and Nick Turner, Editors.
Writers in Conversation is now celebrating its fourth birthday. As editors we are delighted that conversations with a fascinating range of writers continue to come in from all over the world.
In this issue, Mahuya Bhaumik interviews Indian Dalit activist, writer and critic Sharan Kumar Limbale; Gillian Dooley talks to Australian musician and memoirist Anna Goldsworthy; Rob Harle interviews Indian poet, critic and translator D.C. Chambial, and Sunil Sharma discusses ghazals with poet Steffen Horstmann.
Abhimanyu Pandey introduces Robin Gregory, US author of The Improbable Wonders of Moojie Littleman. Elisabetta Marino has conducted two interviews, one with Chicago novelist Tony Ardizzone and the other with travel writer Arup K. Chatterjee.
To round out this issue, Jaydeep Sarangi has contributed two interviews, one with Australian writer and academic Catherine Cole and the other with Malsawmi Jacob, another multi-faceted writer living in Bangalore, India.
We'd like to thank all our interviewers, the writers they interviewed and everyone who reads the journal. Please continue to spread the word about it!
We hope you will enjoy reading and learning from the mix of interviews in this issue as much as we did.