Are there any institutional support systems for writers?
Yes, Nepali language writers do get some support and validation from the Nepal Academy, though this is orientated towards the canon, as represented by the topi-wearing old school. This is not applicable to us for the moment. As for the government’s investing in Nepali writers in English, they’re hidebound. New culture does not permeate unless it comes bundled with flashing lights. (Read more…)
In Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities, he wrote, “You take delight not in a city’s seven or seventy wonders, but in the answer it gives to a question of yours.” Did Thamel give you any answers? If so, what was the question?
To me, Thamel is the answer to the question, “What the hell happened to this damned city? How did it go from A to Z in no time at all?” People come here, and they only see the surface of this place. There’s no coherence in Thamel when you look at it like that. That question, which I guess has been in my head with regard to Kathmandu as a whole, was answered by Thamel. As I said in the book as well, Thamel is this microcosm of Kathmandu, which is a microcosm of Nepal. (Read more…)
Who are your favourite authors?
Those I haven’t read – names I know, names I don’t know, names that haven’t seen the light of day. They represent the titillating totality of my ignorance. (Read more…)
Can you describe the mood of Kathmandu as you feel/see it?
The Kathmandu Valley is three medieval towns that have sprawled into each other in the last half-century. Depending on where you are, the mood is chaotic and very “Third World,” or tranquil as can be, even sublime. I see and feel the city through a prism of nostalgic appreciation, frustration, and qualified hope for its future regeneration. (Read more…)
Writing about the middle-class may seem indulgent, but there are other ways to address the social change. I refuse to write stereotyped, ‘social’ fiction. (Read more…)
Do you Google yourself?
Constantly. In fact you just inspired me to Yahoo myself for the first time. The results were not encouraging. (Read more…)