I’ve always been interested in the movement of people, whether in terms of physical movement, ie, migration, relocation from one place to another, or more metaphorical movement, such as change.
What inspired you to write A State of Freedom?
Then there was also my interest in the lives of domestic helps, still called ‘servants’ in India, and in the lives of more indigent people. A separate strand came from reading, as all writing invariably does—if I didn’t read, I wouldn’t write. In this instance, it was revisiting V.S. Naipaul’s great novel from 1971, In A Free State, that added the ignition to all the different materials I was trying to order together in my head.
At the core of the book, you say, is displacement, dislocation and desire—but not as we’d imagine. Is there a misconception then, in the common imagination of these experiences, that you felt the need to dispel?
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July - August 2017