Rana Dasgupta author sparkles in debut novel
NEW DELHI, January 31 2005
Debutant Indo-British author Rana Dasgupta says his
book "Tokyo Cancelled" delves into the age-old
art of verbal story-telling, increasingly lost in a
modern world where most people are 'listeners' but rarely
able to tell their own tales.
"Today there is very little contact between the
listeners and the tellers," Dasgupta, whose first
book "Tokyo Cancelled" has just been released,
"There is a sense of disenfranchisement among
the people who can only buy books or CDs but never have
the opportunity to create stories," said the 33-year-old
author whose book has been published by Harper Collins.
The book tells the tale of 13 passengers who are stranded
at an airport and start to tell each other stories to
pass the night.
The stories are based in the major cities of the world
- New Delhi, New York, Istanbul, London, Paris and Buenos
Aires - and talks of loves and peeves, dares and dreams
Dasgupta, who was born in Britain and grew up in Cambridge,
has lived in France, Malaysia and the US. He moved to
Delhi in 2001 and worked briefly to set up a business
For the last year or so, he basically writes fulltime.
Dasgupta said he does not include himself in the 'Indian
writing in English' genre because the elements used
to describe the group do not exist in his writing.
"I think there were things like independence and
the partition - very powerful events which left a mark
on the writings of (Salman) Rushdie or Arundhati Roy,"
"But with writers like me, we are trying to translate
more contemporary events. What's happening right at
the moment around us is more important in my writing."
Filled with nuances inspired by old myths and fables,
Dasgupta said his book was "about importing a kind
of fairytale language".
His next book is about the visions of an old man, which
is recorded by a girl on a typewriter everyday.
"It is a much more real story," said Dasgupta.
"Through the visions, which come to him from all
parts of the world and through which a story forms.
"He is like a lost prophet."
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