& occasionally about other things, too...

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Interview in the Artisanal Writer

To me it posed a challenge of portraying the complexity of being a Muslim in Canada, and I’m not a Muslim. In recent years, there have been intense debates in the literary spheres about ‘cultural appropriation.’ Would I be able to portray with accuracy and empathy the life of a Muslim family, the family dynamics, and the inner turmoil? I was born in a Hindu family, but my dad was a socialist, and I grew up to be an atheist. Also, as a journalist, I covered religious violence that wreaked havoc on Bombay in 1992-93 and recorded the misery Indian Muslims suffered. Pertinently, I’ve been married to a devout Muslim for over 25 years. I believe that a novelist’s primary responsibility is to tell a story competently and responsibly. Innumerable novelists have created a world in their novels that is palpably real without ever being even remotely connected to the world they create. I have done so in Belief, and I’ll leave it to the reader to judge whether the novel succeeds in portraying the complexity of being a Muslim in Canada.


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