novels

Writing beyond English: The Challenges of Inventing Non-English Worlds in English-Language Novels

World Literature Today has published my observations on what it meant for me to invent a Tamil world in English in my most recent novel Ghost in the Tamarind. Language, politics, translation–the essay touches on these and other challenges. “Writing beyond English” started as a presentation at this year’s AWP, so a shout-out to my most exemplary co-panelits Nandi Odhiambo, Stephanie Han, Samrat Upadhyay, and Peter Kimani.

You can find the essay here.

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The Fantasy of Translation: SynTalk Podcast

Sharing information about a podcast on translation for which I was in Mumbai last week. I got to talk about translation in the context of my work as a novelist (including how do you write in English about communities that don’t function in English as in GHOST IN THE TAMARIND?), as a translator from Tamil and as a scholar with my fabulous fellow guests poet and translator from Urdu and Marathi Mustansir Dalvi and philosopher of science and language Sundar Sarukkai. It was nice to be able to bring together questions of craft/ technique and theoretical issues with them and the superb host Rajat.
 
SynTalk is an amazing project helmed by the dynamic Rajat and Jyoti. They have over a hundred episodes focused on concepts. The approach is interdisciplinary and engaging. And they are based in Mumbai! I recommend the series highly–you can find them on Soundcloud and WordPress.
And you can find the “Fantasy of Translation” episode here.