Kanchana Banerjee


After writing feature articles for various publications, PR firms and companies for nearly two decades, Kanchana Banerjee decided to pursue her long cherished dream – to write a novel. She holds a master’s degree in English from Jadavpur University, Kolkata. She lives in Gurgaon with her husband, son and two dogs, Archie and Casper. A Forgotten Affair is her first novel.The book has received rave reviews from readers.

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What was the early experience where you learned that language had power? When did you realise that you would want to use it in writing a book of your own?

Here, I will have to stroll down the memory lane to collect a few incidents that mark my fondness for writing. Being a Bengali, I have always had a strong inclination towards reading. I remember how my father used to take me to libraries and book stores with an intention to buy me some. Every time I glanced at the books resting on the shelves somewhere, I was reminded of my strong urge to write one of my own and have my own name there on the shelves. I later went on to pursue Literature for my graduation and also masters with an intent to be able to write a book of my own someday. It was that very moment when I started working with words and working towards my aspiration.

How was the experience of getting your first book published by Harper Collins?

I am in a contract with Harper Collins wherein I am expected to submit even my second book to the same publishing house, which I have already done. I have even started working on my third book for that matter. I made a three-minute short pitch of the manuscript of my first book named ‘A Forgotten Affair’ in the Bangalore Literature Festival. It was a contest where many aspiring authors were invited to give a short pitch on the manuscript of their books before the editors of the top five publishing houses of our country along with two literary agents. I managed to impress Harper Collins and another leading publisher. They later asked for the complete manuscript of my story and supported the whole idea by consenting to publish it.

Your first book was an adult-oriented creation. How did that affect the number of its readers?

I am not a children’s book writer nor would I recommend that book for young adults. It is only for mature adults with an expanded mental horizon. ‘A Forgotten Affair’ is a story of a woman who is in her early thirties and has faced quite complex turmoils in life. The book deals with a couple of sensitive issues which are beyond the understanding of little children and young adults. I, however, do not feel that this really compromised the number of readers that my book had attracted; for even the number of adult readers alone is no less.

Do you intend to be original or would you prefer to deliver to the readers what they want?

I think one cannot create anything if one has his or her eyes on the pulse of the market. An artist must learn to begin creating an art free from any selfish motive. He has to unconditionally give himself to his art in order to bring out appropriate results. For instance, I have never wanted to write best sellers. It is instead the intent of writing a good story that my whole attention is on.

Do you believe in writer’s block, where you lose track of what to write or how to proceed with writing?

I think that it is not a matter of belief but fact. It is a fact that the writer’s block exists. Just like one’s life that happens to be lopsided, filled with both good and bad days, any creative venture, too, comprises asymmetrical layouts. I am really fortunate to not have hit a really big one so far. However, I admit to the existence of writer’s block and I make sure to deal with it graciously. I invest my time in yoga and other physical exercises to reach a stage of illumination and I also avoid eluding the problem.

What are you looking forward to in the upcoming Art and Literature Festival, 'Valley of Words'?

I have attended many Literature festivals by now and they have all made a good impression on me as an attendee. These impressive encounters with literature festivals so far really make me look forward to the Valley of Words as I feel that to be given an opportunity to discuss your craft is a great idea. For there are numerous aspiring writers who hope to be given a platform like this to share their individual experiences and learn.

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