‘Subjects pick you. Something has to impassion’- Shinie Antony
Bookaholicanonymous is immensely proud to present this interview with Shinie Antony. She has been a prolific writer and has authored around 13 books which include short story collections as well as novels. She has won the Commonwealth Short Story Asia region prize in 2003 for her story A Dog’s Death.
About Shinie Antony: When I joined Rupa Publication as an editor I heard of Shinie Antony for
the first time, she was editing one of Chetan Bhagat's books at the time. Soon I kept
hearing her name and started following her, it was then that I got to know that
she was much more than that. Shinie is a popular short-fiction writer and
novelist. One of her great achievement is that she co-founded the Bangalore
Literature Festival, the biggest event in the garden city's literary calendar
and is the director of the Bengaluru Poetry Festival. There is little that she has not excelled in. I was extremely delighted
when she said yes for an interview with Bookaholicanonymous.
When did you discover that you wanted to write?
Like most writers I guess I had an affinity for languages school onward, and picked up a few essay writing and poetry prizes - you know, rhyming moon with spoon kind of thing.
How do you pick a subject?
Subjects pick you. Something has to impassion.
Do you like writing a full-fledged novel or short stories?
I prefer short stories, but at the end of the day it is the story that decides its length.
About your book The Girl Who Couldn't Love ...is it a psychological roller coaster through the human mind? Tell us more.
It is this girl's story. Roo has had a tough life, but she is a survivor.
In When Mira Went Forth and Multiplied you have dealt with concepts like marriages and infidelity? Do women look for physical relationships outside marriage? And the result is?
In Mira there is married love and unmarried love, both very separate categories in Asia. The loved one is superior to the one who does the loving in the hierarchy of love; it is a human need to love but with the ego what it is, it is also impractical to go overboard.
About her anthologies:
Boo: 13 Stories That Will Send a Chill Down Your Spine is about ghosts. Do you believe in them? Have you had a spooky experience? How was it collecting and editing them?
Do ghosts exist? No one knows for sure. But it is fun to presume they do, isn't it? Boo has dead beauties’, snarling demons... It is a book for those who like their ghosts real. Well-known writers have tried their hand at spooky writing.
What was the purpose of An Unsuitable Woman?
An Unsuitable Woman is about women who fought back, who do the 'wrong' thing, are considered first a pain then a pioneer.
Please tell us about your anthology The Orphanage for Words, the theme is unusual and intense?
The Orphanage was about loss, grief and all things we leave behind, including names and words, when we move on.
Why did you give the title Why We Don't Talk to your anthology? What did the stories speak about?
About things swept under the carpet, stuff we whisper about.
Planet Polygamous has tales of infidelity. Is infidelity a deal breaker in a relationship?
Infidelity is not only in man-woman relationships. It is also a thing in daily life. The Judas kiss can come from anyone.
You dare to take up unconventional themes for your anthologies, Barefoot and Pregnant being one of them. It’s about dysfunctional motherhood, what do you mean by it?
Women who don't want to be mothers, who are moms to please others or because of biology.
In Seance on a Sunday Afternoon you deal with urban angst and urban unhappiness, that affects millions today. You have given it a voice. Your take.
For every small-town boy who makes it in a big city is a seemingly urban man who hangs himself in his penthouse because he has no one to talk to.
Bookaholicanonymous wishes Shinie many more successes!
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