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Shinie Antony

Shinie Antony

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Shinie Antony

How do you know when an idea is ideal for a short story or for a novel? Which format of storytelling do you love more?

A story unfolds as an idea in the author’s mind first and thereafter takes a life of its own, choosing it’s own format of either a short story, a novella or a novel.

Please tell us a bit about Rudrakshi from your latest novel The Girl Who Couldn’’t Love. What was the inspiration behind the novel?

A middle-aged single woman, Rudrakshi is a survivor. She will do whatever it takes to live her life her way. Unhappiness that looks like happiness from a distance, I think that is what got me to write this novel.

How difficult is it to balance your time organizing literature festivals and writing?

Since I would rather do anything but write, which I find too personal and painful, I do everything else with great happiness.

Your novel has been nominated for the Valley of Words Book Awards 2018. Are literary awards important for authors to establish credibility around the literary circuit?

Writers tend to take their own work seriously after an empathetic review or being shortlisted for a prize. Their work, their words, their way of writing gain credibility in their own eyes perhaps.

What are the novels that you have loved recently? Some recommendations for our readers please!

The French Lieutenant’s Woman by John Fowles, Betrayal by Harold Pinter, Hotel du Lac by Anita Brookner.

How do you see the literature festival circuit evolving and what do we need to keep doing to make people read more?

Literature festivals are a new genre and each fest has an identity of its own. Readers and writers are on the same page, literally.


About the Interviewee: Shinie Antony has authored short-story books The Orphanage For Words, Barefoot and Pregnant and novels When Mira Went Forth and Multiplied, A Kingdom for his Love. She has compiled the anthologies Why We Don’t Talk, An Unsuitable Woman and Boo. Her story A Dog’s Death won the Commonwealth Short Story Asia region prize in 2003. Co-founder of the Bangalore Literature Festival she is also director of the Bengaluru Poetry Festival. The Girl Who Couldn’t Love (published by Speaking Tiger Oct 2017) is her latest novel.


About the novel ’The Girl Who Couldn’t Love’

An introverted, middle-aged spinster, Roo or Rudrakshi Sen, lives with her mother and teaches English at a local school. Roo’s mother, semi-blind and a chronic invalid, lives most of the time in an imaginary world where she turns the grief of her husband’s death and their bizarre relationship into the belief that theirs was a happy, conventional marriage. Roo cultivates an aloof manner and distances herself from close relationships to stave off memories of her childhood and of Eeedee, the girl who entered her life as a six-year-old and left as a teenager—after one night that was to haunt and shape both their adult lives. When Kumar, a man much younger than her, enters Roo’s life out of nowhere, she is intensely attracted to him—an attraction she believes is reciprocal. She begins an affair with this mysterious stranger, knowing that all affairs end messily. It is her secrets she wants to shield. But her secrets and this man are inextricably linked.. Shinie Antony’s sparse yet evocative prose gives strength to this haunting tale of twisted relationships