Interview with anway mukhopadhyay

What are your five favorite books, and why?
simone de beauvoir's "america day by day", for its honesty, Hermann Hesse's Siddhartha, for its serenity and broad metaphysical vision, Rabindranath Tagore's play, Raja, for its lofty spiritual vision, menis koumandareas's Koula, for its brevity and precise style, and finally War and Peace of Tolstoy, because of its greatness.
What do you read for pleasure?
not exactly for pleasure, but for satisfaction. spiritual books, and Shirshendu Mukherjee's novels for kids. mukherjee writes in Bengali, my vernacular.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
i like pdf formats, because i read books on my laptop.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
i grew up in a peaceful place, Tarabag, a university campus where the professors and students lived. it was idyllic, in many ways. and those past impressions of a place full of the riches of nature affect my writing a lot. the sensuousness of my writing has something to do with the role of my exposure to nature during my formative years.
When did you first start writing?
i don't remember. but my mom tells me she had to instill the passion for writing in me at a very early age, as i was a restless kid. (it's funny but it's true)
What's the story behind your latest book?
i have been seriously thinking of women's condition in india. it is shameful that the exploitation of women and the exploitation of nature go on in india in the same manner. at the same time, the indian boys try to affect an exaggerated masculinity by deliberately alienating themselves more and more from nature. this also creates a bizarre sexism in them. they equate women with nature and denigrate both. this kept paining me. and i also thought about the Chipko movement , a movement for saving nature that was conducted by women instead of high profile environmentalists. so, i tried to blend ecological concerns with gender issues in this story, without pompously flaunting an "eco-feminist" propaganda.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
i am not just an indie author. my academic books have been published by two internationally renowned German publishing houses. they are available worldwide.my stories have been published in reputed international journals in india and the USA and one story of mine has also received a prize. my academic essays are published in prestigious journals in various countries. but as far as this particular story was concerned, i felt an intense urge to publish it immediately. because, it is a piece of writing that is related to my passion not only for writing but also for social justice.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
it gives me the sense of being free from my immediate existential context. i can create worlds of my own.
What are you working on next?
i am working on a story set in Varanasi, one of the oldest cities of the world where i spend my time.
Who are your favorite authors?
many. but i would specially mention Yeats,Rabindranath Ttagore, Orhan Pamuk, Albert camus, Sartre, Madame Beauvoir, Gloria anzaldua, Paula Gunn Allen, Elfriede Jelinek, Wislawa Szymborska, Selma Lagerlof and Abanindranath Tagore.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
sometimes, nothing inspires me. at other times, i think of spending the new day in divine way.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
reading, or meditating. i also occasionally listen to songs.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
no. but there was a ghost story that i composed at an early age.
What is your writing process?
earlier, i could not write without using pen and paper. now i type the words on my computer. and when i write, i ask everybody else not to disturb me.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
no. but i had read the Indian and Greek epics at a very early age. and they greatly impacted my spycho-emotional orientation. i also read a great deal of mythology and folk tales which produced various Jungian archetypes in my creative universe.
How do you approach cover design?
it is very important for me. i was a good painter(though now i am totally detached from this graphic art). i got many prizes for painting. and i think that it's the author who can produce the best cover design for his book. i have produced the one you see attached to my e-book. though i won't claim that it is something that will remind you of Picasso, it reflects, i believe, the central theme. i deliberately kept the unsophisticated carves in the picture that suit the enigmatic nature of the story.
who has inspired you most, as far as your family is concerned?
my mom, dad, and sister. the other relatives and friends too have contributed a lot to the shaping of my writing career.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
online. by looking at the retailers' websites and the sites like that of Smashwords.
whom would you like to dedicate this book to?
to my family members.
Published 2013-11-15.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Old Woman and the Peak
Price: $1.50 USD. Words: 5,680. Language: English. Published: November 14, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Visionary & metaphysical
it's the story of an old woman who comes to rakagram from an unknown place. the children befriend her, and the women are sympathetic to her,but the village priest is angry with her habit of gazing at the distant mountain peak which the villagers worship as the father god. one day, the woman disappears. and two europeans, who had journeyed to the peak, reach rakagram to relate a strange thing.....