Eclectic Northeast
Prajwal Parajuly Writer Oxford Image Credit: Eclectic Northeast
Prajwal Parajuly Writer Oxford Image Credit: Eclectic Northeast

Prajwal Parajuly Writer; Oxford

‘So, does a writer—a fiction writer—have a responsibility toward his people?

Should I write a movement into my novel because it will help my people’s cause or because it’s relevant to the story I am trying to tell?’ asked Prajwal at a recent talk at Sikkim University, where he was feted by CM Pawan Chamling, mirroring the adulation of his people. But with characteristic directness, he questions whether it is justified to place on a writer’s shoulders the burden of representation. His first book The Gurkha’s Daughter, which he had written while still at university, is a meticulous exploration of the life of the Nepali-speaking community in India, Nepal, Bhutan and the West, but in this collection of 8 short stories too, though Prajwal dispels many myths about the community yet there is no agenda to his writing. At the heart of his second book Land Where I Flee is the powerful matriarch Chitralekha Nepauney and it is around her Chaurasi (84th birthday) that the whole action happens. Prajwal Parajuly, widely touted to be Asian fiction’s ‘next big thing’, comes up with a first novel that looks like a family saga from a distance complete with a grand family re-union with identity politics as its recurring theme, but probe deeper and you will find a work of fiction that refuses to lend itself to such easy definitions. Also, do not look for ‘literary experimentation’ here, it is an old-fashioned novel in the true sense of the word, and the gripping story surprises you w

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