In conversation with novelist KR Meera

shivani

Shivani Chaturvedi | November 3, 2015




KR Meera is a Malayali novelist. After working as a journalist for years, she embarked on writing fiction and published her first collection of short stories Ormayude Njarambu in 2002. She is the winner of Vayalar Rama Varma Award, the most prestigious literary award in Kerala, and also of Kerala Sahitya Akademi for her story, Ave Maria, in 2009. Since then she has published five short stories collections, two novellas, five novels, two books for children and has written several essays. Her 2012 novel Aarachaar [published in English as Hangwoman] is considered among the best literary works produced in Malayalam. She has also written screenplays for TV serials and films.


Book I am reading now: My name is Radha by Saadat Hasan Manto.

My favourite book is: One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. The idea of picking up one book as favourite has no meaning when there are several books that have marked every turning point in my life. But on being asked about one favourite book I prefer naming this one by Marquez because no other book has given me the creative vibe like that. After years, I wrote a short story Noor Years of Solitude (Ekaanthathayude Noor Varshangal) to express  what I owe to that book.

Biggest influence in my life:  My mother.

Experiences while writing my first book: My first story was published in the Mathrubhumi Weekly in 2001. After publishing three more stories I got a call from DC Books, informing me that they were bringing out 10 debut books and I was also featuring in the list. Unsure of whether I was ready to confront the readers with a book, I finished three more stories and brought out the book excitedly in 2002. It won four important literary awards.

On my recent book, Sooryane Aninja Oru Stree: The book tells a story of the conflict between a woman, her body, family, the church and the law. The title is from Woman Clothed in Sun in the Bible’s Book of Revelation. I conceived the idea of the title while travelling as a pillion rider on a two-wheeler, when I saw a board by a prayer group informing that the topic of their next convention will be Woman Clothed in Sun.

If I were not a writer, I would be: I was a journalist.

My passion other than writing: There is no other passion than writing, but I enjoy watching films.

My favourite quote: “The sorrowful spirit finds relaxation in solitude. It abhors people, as a wounded deer deserts the herd and lives in a cave until it is healed or dead,” by Kahlil Gibran.

My most prized possession: I don’t possess anything or anyone. I value my solitude the most.

I would like to be remembered as: Let people remember my stories instead.


 

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