Posts Tagged ‘Marie Claire’

POL in Marie Claire India december 2009

Monday, December 14th, 2009
Marie Claire Dec 2009

Marie Claire Dec 2009


and write them into major events. Or
take marginally interesting people and
write them into giants and trolls and
goddesses. For example, the people
Ginny has sex with. There have been
men and women that I had crushes
on, that I might have wanted to have
a larger relationship, or just sex with.
And circumstances or their desires did
not allow it – well, Ginny got lucky (or
unlucky) where I did not. My mother
was quite a character and I did draw
upon her for Ginny’s mother. But I
had to distort her in order to make
her larger than life. I wanted to write
fiction about a woman somewhat like
me. After I started writing, she took
on her own character. So when I read
the book after its final edit, she didn’t
resemble me. I’m glad for that. Even if
everyone insists on assuming this is – as
one reviewer put it – “autobiography
masquerading as novel” – it is a novel,
and any resemblance to persons living
or dead is purely inspirational!
Who are your favourite writers?
Jane Austen, Kurt Vonnegut, John
Steinbeck, Italo Calvino, Lawrence
Durrell, Goscinny and Albert Uderzo
– the list keeps growing longer. I have
a weakness for comics, graphic novels
and science fiction.
De spi t e the f raught f ami l y
relationships, the book is actually
about family.
Family is an odd thing. There isn’t
always a mutual desire to be part of it
– we don’t choose our parents, or even
our children. We may love them, but
wouldn’t admit it to ourselves if we
did not. Ginny is unfortunate that she
doesn’t have any models to base her
social morals on, or the size and colour
of her family. But she is fortunate too,
in not having those models. Like a
traveller on an unknown road, she has
to make it up as she goes along.
By Manjula Narayan
The Complaints
Ian Rankin
Hachette India, Rs 595
Ian Rankin’s new hero
Malcolm Fox works for
the Edinburgh Police’s
Professional Standards Unit
aka The Complaints. He’s
a cop who catches crooked cops. If his first
outing is anything to go by, readers will soon
learn to love Fox as much as they do crabby
Scot Inspector Rebus. The author’s even been
hinting that Rebus and Fox might make a joint
appearance some day. Bet you can’t wait!
The New Anthem: The
Continent in Its
Own Words
Edited by Ahmede
Tranquebar, Rs 350
Here’s a book that brings
together voices from the
Indian subcontinent. Do stop to read ‘If You
Are Afraid of Heights’ by Raj Kamal Jha, ‘The
Ocean of Mrs Nagai’ by Sharbari Ahmed and
‘Cyclone’ by Khademul Islam. Also in the
fiction anthology are works by Amit Chaudhuri,
Tabish Khair, Padma Viswanathan, Kamila
Shamsie, Mohsin Hamid and Altaf Tyrewala.
new on shelves
novel A Pack
of Lies is an
Rs 295)
Don’t Swallow Your
Gum and Other
Medical Myths
Dr Aaron Carroll & Dr
Rachel Vreeman
Penguin, Rs 350
‘You use only 10 per cent
of your brain,’ ‘Acupuncture doesn’t really
work,’ ‘Condoms protect you from all STDs’
and ‘Eating at night makes you fat’ are some
beliefs challenged in the book. Though some of
the arguments aren’t entirely convincing, it’s
definitely a witty read.
book stills: manasa madishetty
234 marie claire india december 2009
Urmila Deshpande’s A Pack
of Lies traces the journey of
her protagonist Ginny as she
struggles to make sense of family
and of life in 1980s Mumbai. Here,
the original calendar girl – she was a
leading model – talks about her novel.
How much of the book is drawn
from your life?
Ginny is often assumed to be me
because the book is written in first
person. Yes, I am Ginny and Ginny is
me, but I am also not Ginny, and she
is also not me! There are moments in
my life that I used as starting points
to write Ginny – my relationship with
my mother, or my sisters, for example.
But I did not want to be restricted to
the truth. I wanted to take possibilities,
Marie Claire Dec 2009

Marie Claire Dec 2009