Simply enter your keyword and we will help you find what you need.

What are you looking for?

Jerry Pinto_Murder at Mahim

Jerry Pinto_Murder at Mahim

Related Book

Jerry Pinto_Murder at Mahim

You have written books in a variety of genres. How did you gravitate towards crime?

For a very long I have been angry about Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code which criminalises almost all expressions of sexuality. I had thought of various ways of expressing this anger but couldn’t find a suitable format; an essay would only  be read by the converted. I wanted to find a way to talk to those who wouldn’t generally pick up a book about the problems of human rights, the nature of heteronormative and patriarchal society and the rest of that. A murder mystery seemed like a good way to talk about these issues while not actually ranting and raving.

Your book ‘Murder in Mahim’ has been nominated for the Valley of Words Book Awards 2018. Are literary awards important for authors to establish credibility around the literary circuit?

I think awards are important. I know they are important to me because every time I get one I am delighted. I don’t know whether they mean anything to readers or those on the literary circuit but I know they are important to me.

Do you feel that crime and mystery as a genre could become more popular with a lot of Indian and International content concentrating on the same?

At the heart of the crime novel is a concern for justice. The moral fibre of society has been warped and it needs to be re-adjusted. I believe though that you must believe in justice, in the judicial system, in the police, in scientific pathological laboratories that are only interested in the evidence, in a system where justice is meted out even-handedly to film stars and politicians and the man on the street alike for this kind of novel to work. This makes it difficult to imagine the exponential growth of crime fiction as a genre in India, at least given our current situation in which it takes public protests to get a rape FIR registered and then we find the lawyers of the city protesting against it.

Has any of your characters haunted you well after you are done with the novel?

My characters come alive for me and they’re all with me long after I have finished writing them. I will come across a new crow story and think how Saavri (my crow character in When Crows are White, a graphic novel I worked on with Garima Gupta) would react to it. I think of something about a  child and his toy and think, Thurston (my bear character in A Bear for Felicia) might not agree. Then there’s Em who is always speaking inside my head. With Murder in Mahim, Peter and Millie and Jende are always having conversations in my head and some day, they’ll insist on my telling a story about them again.

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

I don’t think we will ever be done with reading. I believe also that the number of books we are producing in India and the number we are reading is growing steadily. Remember we are a nation hungry for books at this point. Remember the literacy figures are rising all the time. And there are more book festivals than ever before including yours. Our thirst for stories is varied and humungous; in its lowest form it is gossip; in its highest form, it is scripture and at many other levels and registers, it is fiction, it is literature, it is epic, it is play, it is poem, it is saga!

What are your favourite crime novels? Some recommendations for our readers please. 

Since it’s easier to do authors… so here goes:

Agatha Christie, P D James, Ruth Rendell, Ian Rankin, Keigo Higashino, Dorothy Sayers, Donna Leon, Henning Mankell, Hakan Nesser, Peter Robinson, Peter James, Georges Simenon, Colin Dexter…

About the Interviewee:

Jerry Pinto is a poet, editor, author and journalist who lives in Mumbai. His work has won him many awards including the Sahitya Akademi Award and the Windham-Campbell Prize for Fiction administered by the Beinecke Library at Yale for Em and the Big Hoom; and the National Award for the Best Book on Cinema for Helen: the life and times of an H-Bomb. He is a trustee of one of Mumbai's oldest libraries, the People's Free Reading Room & Library, a member of the Board of Meljol and Aflatoun International (The Netherlands) and a member of the  advisory board of the Jehangir Sabavala Foundation.