Prufrock's Page

Friday, April 06, 2007

Made-Up Novels

John Freeman, president of the National Book Critics Circle, recently interviewed Akhil Sharma and Dara Horn, both anointed by Granta as among the 20 most promising young American novelists. Here's a comment by Sharma on how his novel was received in India, which comes across to one as more than just a little disingenuous: "My relatives in India were very angry. I was surprised. I mean, the book says on the cover these things aren't true. That these events are made up, and they were. None of that happened. I borrowed some of the places, and the stuff about the man's job is true. But the rest is made-up. But they kept thinking it was true. You have to remember, though, India is largely a shame-based culture, not a guilt-based culture. So a confessional narrative doesn't go over very well--not only does the man in my book do a horrible thing, he doesn't have the goodness to keep quiet about it."

See, that's the defence Joyce, Lawrence, Nabokov and all the others whose books were proscribed should have used: "It never happened! It's made up! Says so on the cover!"


  • "disingenuous" being a euphemism for the operative term!
    Without even reading the interview, I feel like dislking him.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:30 PM  

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