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Easterine Kire

Easterine Kire

Easterine Kire

“”Don’t Run, My Love” has been nominated for the Valley of Words Book Awards 2018. Are literary awards important for authors to establish credibility around the literary circuit?

Personally, I feel my first books were able to establish my credibility in the absence of awards. That was because they were the first Naga novels written in English, so my situation was different from other writers. Getting an award or two is so very nice and it certainly attracts more than one publisher to future book manuscripts.

Our readers would love to know about your writing routine.

Thanks. Nice question. I get up around seven every day, closer to five am in winter, have my morning chai without which I feel dysfunctional, and soon after I start writing. If I have stuff accumulated from the night before that I want to get down on the computer before I forget, almost the first thing I do is sit down to write. I have learned to have a pen and notebook by my bedside and note down thoughts in the night. If I don’t do this, they are gone by the time I wake up. If I am in the middle of a novel, I write all day and take a break only after about eight straight hours of writing. I may write again after dinner. I don’t recommend the intensive writing that I do. But it is what works for me.

Which work of yours took you the most time and why?

Probably ‘Bitter Wormwood’ and ‘A Respectable Woman’ because in both cases I had to delete the first books and start all over again. The first manuscripts were not bad, but sometimes you feel in your spirit, you would rather write it afresh. I did that and therefore, these books took more time to write than the others.

A lot of your works have been translated into multiple languages. How do you ensure that the essence of the text remains intact in the process?

With the German translations, I work very closely with my translator who has also visited Nagaland several times and gained in-depth knowledge of the culture he is translating. With the Norwegian translations, fortunately I speak the language so I am able to read through the translations and help the translator.
With the Marathi translation, I had to simply trust my translator. She went to a lot of trouble to get the cultural expressions correctly. I have had the satisfaction of meeting Marathi readers who were full of praise for the quality of the translation. It’s always a risk that things will be lost in translation, but that mustn’’t stop us from translating literature into different languages.

Do you feel that the quickly diminishing habit of reading could make a comeback in India and become a part of our culture in the future?

I don’’t really believe that reading is diminishing in India. When travelling I see people reading a lot, and many reading from kindle. In more rural areas I know young people are opening libraries for children and grownups alike and those libraries are always full of people. Hurrah!

About the Interviewee:

Dr Easterine Kire is a poet, short story writer, children’s book writer and novelist from Nagaland. She published the first English novel by a Naga in 2003 entitled, A Naga Village Remembered (Ura Academy). Her second novel, A Terrible Matriarchy (Zubaan 2007) has been translated to Norwegian, German and Marathi. Bitter Wormwood, (Zubaan 2011) her fourth novel, was shortlisted for The Hindu literary prize 2013.
In 2011, she was awarded the Governor’s prize for excellence in Naga literature, and in 2013, she was awarded the “Free Word” by Catalan PEN, Barcelona.
In 2016, she won the Hindu Literature Prize for her book, When the River Sleeps (Zubaan).
Her book, Son of the Thundercloud (Speaking Tiger, 2016) has been awarded the Tata Litlive Book of the Year award in 2017.
Easterine writes poetry and has a band called Jazzpoesi. The band has given out a digital cd in summer 2013 that topped the Norwegian Jazz charts in summer.
She is also founder member of a publishing house called Barkweaver Publications.