A session with Granta Authors

13 12 2013

A session with Granta Authors

On a winter evening, two young writers with British accents spoke about poetry and romanticism with history. Adam Foulds and Joanna Kavenna who are touring Indian cities as part of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists programme interacted with a roomful of readers, writers-in-the-mind, and Anjum Hasan who moderated the session.

Adam Foulds, novelist and poet, whose works include The Truth About These Strange Times, The Broken World and The Quickening Maze spurted frankness when asked if the culture of reading poetry was diminishing. Poetry appeals to a certain class he said with unfazed rigidity. While Joanna Kavenna, author of Inglorious, The Birth of Love, Come to the Edge and The Ice Museum, on the other hand swore she didn’t bribe the editors of Granta to include her in the Best Young Writers list albeit jokingly.


(From left: Anjum Hasan, Adam Foulds, Joanna Kavenna)

The session just as young Foulds said about poetry appealed to a certain class, bare minimum of literary enthusiasts. This might very well have been because they were alien writers in a city bombarded with American teen fiction and Indian ‘papad’ fiction. In the ever outcry amongst literary fiction and popular fiction, the latter somehow cuts the cake but the former never loses its shelf pride.

Granta is touring some of the writers in India, a noble façade ably supported by the British Council. There has come an age where every writing finds a reader and every book a hand but do the hands really exchange wisdom or pure numbness through meritless penning; it is going toward a nowhere land, the question not the answer.