Here I come up with the interview of Saket Suryesh – the author of “The Rude Tenderness of Our Hearts”.
Thanks to Vishnu Chevli sir for availing me this chance.
1. About Saket Suryesh:
The most important and defining aspect of my being is my being a father. Everything flows from there. Writing, Living and being all of it. Mostly we all write witih a view of the future. It is like being stranded on a lost ship and leaving a message in the bottle, with a hope that it will reach somewhere and will be read.
2. Discuss the special features of your book which will make the readers prefer your book over others.
The stories are not complex. I always believe to have too many incidents in a story, characters will have to be pretty accident-prone. My characters are mostly not. Stories come from events unfolding around us. Only thing is that I look at them from a different perspective, try to imagine and fictionalize the story behind very ordinary characters, and faceless names- in our lives, in newspaper headlines. I believe it is the duty of a writer to do that and try create a sense of empathy. Secondly, I always consider myself as a word-worshipper. I am not the one for clean, plain language. Not that I favour the frivolous. I love language when it is elegant and accurate. I try to take care of it in my writing. The elegance of language makes literature readable and message reaches the readers hidden in the beautiful covers.
3. Being a debut author, what are all the hazards you underwent in the publishing process?
One of the biggest challenge is the lack of knowledge of the writing Industry. See, to know writing and to know the writing industry are two very different things. Previously I had self-published couple of poetry books and a book of essays. Partridge experience was more structured which was kind of first-time experience for me. However, the Industry today is a full- fledged market enterprise and run by well-networked individuals. It is easy to fool oneself in believing oneself to be Salinger material. For every writer, the self-image of isolated work is enchanting but the world is cruel. As a writer, one critical part of writing is editing and revision. This is one very critical part filled up by a good publisher. Usual ones would run word-check and go with it. I find that challenge in my book as well when I read many stories once printed. The difficulty is that it is very difficult to go back once the book is printed. Therefore be very critical to be fussy about editing and revision. Poor editing and mistakes spoil many good stories. I have seen that in this book. Other thing is reaching out to traditional media is very important if the book is important to you. It might take time, but Amazons of the world cannot compensate for the loss of bookshelf space in next-door book shop. It hurts when your work created with a lot of affection misses eyeballs, while many a times, some sloppy work would also reaches a wider audience through traditional publishers.
4. When did the thought of writing sparked in you?
I used to write as a little child as well. Being the only child, there was always a brooding sense of loneliness which written words would fill up. Then through my Engineering, I used to write on last page of my engineering books and on empty cigarette packets. Like any young man at any time and age, I was lonely, confused and dissatisfied with the world at large and writing was my way of getting back at the world which I did not understand. Then there was a lull period post- marriage as I went about setting the house in order, getting a job. Once I had a daughter in 2008, I felt it was a time to go back doing what I promised to myself when young, that is to write. So I began writing in earnest- while at home, while commuting in the metro, while at the airport waiting-halls, in Hotels while traveling for work.
5. Discuss your favourite books and your inspiring icons??
This is a difficult one since I read a lot. My favourite books would be Orlando and The Waves by Virginia Woolf, The Great Gatsby- Scott Fitzgerald, Lord Jim and The Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, The Insulted and the Humiliated, Crime and Punishment and Notes from the Underground by Dostoevsky, Middlemarch – there are many. Among the contemporary writers, I love reading Julian Barnes, loved The Book Thief by Markus Zusak and The Salinger Years by Joanna Rakoff. I have a bias towards to older generation writers, but that is mostly because I feel there has been huge amount of great work which already has been already written and I feel I have not read much of it. It is like I am trying to make up for a lost education.
6. “The Rude Tenderness of Our Hearts”, is all about the emotions of a people undergoes. Is there any particular reason behind choosing this theme??
Well, Stories were not written around any common theme. I was the only thing common that they have and could be reflective in the nature of writing. I took to writing stories much inspired by a speech by Ray Bradbury who advised that any writer who feels stuck in his novel should write stories. Stories have almost the same structure as a Novel, with a limitation of space and are a good practise. If you see the introduction to The Rude Tenderness of Our Hearts, I refer to the difficulty in naming a collection of stories for each story is independent in texture, theme and direction. All stories whether about the war or honour killing are in the end looked at from the aspect of emotions, thereby the name. Unless we cover the emotional aspects of the events, we are not being a writer, we are then being a journalist. It is not that I am deriding the work of a journalist, but that is not what I have set out to be.
7. Where you see yourself after 10 years in this literary field?
Would like to have written few novels. I hope I will have more structure to my literary life and will have more acceptability to my writing.
8. Some notes on your upcoming books?
One I am currently writing about a daughter trying to understand her parents, another is still in my mind. Also would love to write a children’s book. I had started but is still stuck. I am also trying to put together a book of Indian mythological stories from modern perspective. Not that I will have mythological characters swearing like modern day people, rather will try to give more real face to them. Something like Shiv and Shailputri in The Rude Tenderness of Our Hearts.
Thanks Sanket Suryesh sir, for taking some time out of your schedule to answer my questions.
Blurb of the book ” The Rude Tenderness of our Hearts” :
Smith studying art at Yale, with a bright future ahead of him. He is not a man of half-measures. What happens when he falls in love? And who does he fall in love with? How much love is too much love? Surprise yourself with Love in Yale.Shiva is a man in mourning, an asocial man, even if great. What will a father do whose daughter falls in love with an ascetic and a warrior? How would she win in love if not by losing herself? Read to find how the story of Shiva and Shailputri ends. Sarthak is a modern man, with a modern family, trapped in the modern world. This day has seen him coming out as an undisputed winner in corporate warfare. He is rushing to meet those he loves- his wife, his daughter. What happens then? Will time bring solace or will he be Betrayed by Time? A soldier is beheaded on India- Pakistan border. His headless body comes back. Will his soul find its salvation in the patriotic reception he gets as a martyr, having served his country? He is an Indian soldier, he could belong to any country. Where is the resolution to the people who die in such conflicts? Are they great men destined for divinity or are they human, all too human, like me and you? Discover a different perspective of territorial conflicts in The Death of Soldier. These and three other stories are placed in different time, different worlds, with nothing but one common thread that runs across them, connecting them is a human heart beating across the book. Surrender to the magic of human heart.
Amazon link to buy the book :
Thanks for reading…