Anjum Hasan already featured as a poet in the The Heavenly Bliss Salon for Men in Vol III returns to share her thoughts on what makes her the writer she is. Author of the short fiction collection Difficult Pleasures, and the novels Neti, Neti and Lunatic in my Head, Anjum’s fiction, non-fiction and poetry have been widely published in India and abroad. She works as books editor at The Caravan. See more on http://www.anjumhasan.com
Catch Anjum talk about Difficult Pleasures at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3irz1rI33AE
• Soaring into heaven moment:
Winning the first prize in an elocution competition at the age of seven for reciting Alexander Pushkin’s ‘The Captive’ with all the melodramatic flourishes that my English teacher had instilled in me.
• That infernal fire time:
Facing a blank page every morning in an ongoing work of fiction and trying yet again to make something out of nothing. However much one thinks of writing fiction as a job, at the heart of it is something totally unjob like. It’s more like jumping off a cliff every day and hoping the parachute works.
• The purgatory point:
The first review. You’ve known all along that you’re going to hawk your innermost thoughts in public but nothing makes it more horrifying real than to see your book cover in a magazine that first time, and someone trying to make sense of your work.
• Six years, several drafts and 60,000 words thereafter, would you do this differently and again?
Not for a million dollars! Well, maybe for a million dollars but not a penny less. Difficult Pleasures is behind me; what I have learnt in the process of writing and publishing it I hope to apply to what I write next.
• What does Anjum Hasan the writer
Fear the most?
What I fear the most is also what I need the most – my subconscious. It’s where all the riches are but it can sometimes throw up some nasty surprises!
Desire the most?
To never run out of words. To be able to articulate every experience. Virginia Woolf understood it when she spoke about “the enormous burden of the unexpressed”.
Hate the most?
Myself when I procrastinate. Those of my countrymen who unashamedly throw their garbage on street corners. The world when it makes war instead of love. And my laptop when it refuses to start up about five mornings a week. Though when it does start up, I forgive it.