Volume 2, No. 2, August 2015

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Letter from the Editors

Welcome to our August 2015 issue of Writers in Conversation. It's hard to believe that we are already on our fourth issue, but we are delighted that fascinating interviews with writers are still coming our way. Many thanks to everyone who has worked at the often time-consuming (but very rewarding) process of interviewing and transcribing. Your efforts have really paid off.

As normal, there is a great mixture of writers interviewed in this issue: poets and writers of short stories, plays, fiction and science fiction from Ireland, England, India and Canada. One of the interviews considers the interviewing process itself.

We are proud that Writers in Conversation continues to be exciting and transnational, giving readers the chance to discover more about authors they know or who are new to them.

Happy Reading!

Nick Turner and Gillian Dooley, Editors


From Volume 4, no. 1, February 2017 Writers in Conversation will be published in Open Journal Systems and this website will no longer be updated.


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 8 of 8
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    Interviewing the Interviewer: A Conversation with Charlotte Wood
    (2015-07-23) Charlotte Wood; Dooley, Gillian Mary
    Charlotte Wood is an Australian writer and editor, the author of four novels, most recently Animal People, which won the People's Choice medal in the 2013 NSW Premier's Literary Awards, with a fifth, The Natural Way of Things, about to appear later this year. She has edited a book of essays, Brothers and Sisters (2009) and written a memoir on food and cooking, Love and Hunger (2012). I have long been a fan of Charlotte’s work, and was delighted when I learned in 2013 that she was beginning a new online subscription magazine, The Writer’s Room, which would contain interviews with her fellow writers. This was particularly exciting since it was at this time we were exploring the establishment of what would become Writers in Conversation. I subscribed immediately and have found the Writer’s Room interviews unfailingly illuminating – essential reading for creative writers and anyone seriously interested in the craft of writing. Details of Charlotte’s publications are at http://www.charlottewood.com.au/ and The Writer’s Room subscription page is http://www.charlottewood.com.au/store/p27/2015_Subscription_The_Writer%27s_Room_Interviews.html. When Writers in Conversation was established, Charlotte kindly agreed to join the Advisory Board. It seemed clear that we shared a commitment to the long-form literary interview, so earlier this year I decided to ask Charlotte if she would agree to an interview for WIC.
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    In Conversation with Vijay Kumar Roy
    (2015-07-23) Harle, Rob; Vijay Roy, Kumar
    Vijay Kumar Roy (b. 1978) has been recently honoured with Lifetime Achievement Award by Indian Institute of Oriental Heritage, and Poet of the Month in the February 2015 issue of Poets International. He is editor-in-chief of Ars Artium, an international journal of humanities and social sciences (www.arsartium.org) and an honorary member in the editorial boards of a number of international journals in India and abroad. He teaches English at Northern Border University, Arar, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He has also taught in two universities in India and one in Ethiopia. Dr Roy writes in English and Hindi. His poems have appeared in a number of national and international journals of repute. His poems have also been anthologised in The Rainbow Hues (2014), The Enchanted World (2013), The Poetic Bliss (2012), The Melodies of Immortality (2012), The Fancy Realm (2011), and Poets’ Paradise (2010). His first book, Premanjali, a collection of poems in Hindi, was published in 2009 and second book, Aesthetic of John Keats: An Indian Approach in 2010. The Melodies of Immortality (2012), an anthology of poetry in English, edited by him, was widely welcomed by leading poets in India. While teaching in Ethiopia he co-translated and edited K. Sekhar’s book Hindi – Speak with the Hearts of Indians (2013), which became very famous and one of the best sellers, particularly in the universities where Indian teachers were teaching and the local teachers aspired to obtain their doctoral degree from Indian universities. Having an avid interest in research, he has edited and published a number of books: Post-Independence Indian Poetry in English: New Experimentation (2015), English Language Teaching: New Approaches and Methods (2013), Spiritual Poetry of India in English Translation (2012), Contemporary Indian Spiritual Poetry in English: Critical Explorations (2012),Teaching of English: New Dimensions (2012), Indian Poetry in English: A Comprehensive Study (2011), Women’s Voice in Indian Fiction in English (2011), and co-edited Comparative Literature: Critical Responses (2014), Contemporary Indian Fiction in English: Critical Studies (2013), Value Education and Professional Ethics: An Anthology (2013),and Humanities and Social Sciences: The Quintessence of Education (2012).
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    An interview with Nike Sulway
    (2015-07-23) Lisa Dowdall; Nike Sulway
    Nike Sulway’s latest book, Rupetta (2013), won the James Tiptree, Jr Award for a work of science fiction or fantasy that explores or expands our understanding of gender/sexuality. Rupetta begins four hundred years ago in rural France, where a young woman creates a part human, part mechanical woman, who she calls Rupetta. Bound to each of the women who wind her heart, the novel narrates the miracles and tragedies of Rupetta’s existence. The novel is also told from the point of view of Henri, a history student who yearns for her own mechanical heart. But as Henri uncovers the history of the Salt Lane women – mothers and daughters whose lives were shaped by Rupetta’s – she questions the very truth upon which she has always understood the world and her place in it. Nike’s first novel, The Bone Flute (2001), was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Awards and won the Queensland Premier’s Literary Award for Best Emerging Queensland Author. Her other books are What the Sky Knows (2005), a children’s picture book illustrated by Stella Danalis, and the novel The True Green of Hope  (2005) (as N.A. Bourke). Nike has a PhD in Creative Writing from Griffith University and lectures in Creative Writing at the University of Southern Queensland. She also blogs at Perilous Adventures. This interview was conducted by email in June 2015.
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    Vineetha Mokkil: An Interview
    (2015-07-23) Naomi Jose; Vineetha Mokkil
    Vineetha Mokkil’s fiction is a perpetual search, raising provocative questions and gently urging readers to ponder over the answers. It reflects her deep interest in history and politics as well as her acute and often startling insights into human behaviour. Larger socio-political concerns and a rich tapestry of emotions blend into her work seamlessly. Both are handled with a deft touch and quiet humour. Mokkil uses language with a surgeon’s precision. Starkly beautiful, her sentences cut to the bone and capture the raw ache of human experience with acute sensitivity. A collection of her short stories, A Happy Place and Other Stories (HarperCollins) was published in April 2014. Her fiction has appeared in the ‘The Santa Fe Writers Project Journal’, ‘The Missing Slate’, ‘Cha: an Asian Literary Journal’, ‘Sugar Mule Review’ and in the anthology Why We Don't Talk (Rupa and Co). Mokkil is busy finishing work on a novel, which interweaves two narrative strands set in different times frames: one in 1950s Tibet, and the other in contemporary Delhi.
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    ‘Drama is most certainly not a flourishing genre in Canadian Literature’: Allison McWood interfacing.
    (2015-07-23) Allison McWood; R.P. Singh
    Allison McWood is a full-time, multi award-winning playwright, screenwriter and librettist from Ontario, Canada, who takes a particular interest in farce and satire. Allison holds an honours degree in English Literature from York University in Toronto, with a specialisation in Renaissance Drama. She also spent two years studying Playwriting and Dramaturgy through York’s Department of Theatre and received a diploma from the Institute of Children’s Literature. To date, she has written more than 30 plays and more than 20 feature screenplays, with a character count of more than 1000. Her plays have been produced across Canada and have received national and international acclaim, both theatrically and academically. In addition to playwriting, she has also worked for multiple seasons as a production dramaturge for Canadian, Shakespeare companies. Her book, Scribble Guys, a children’s story about racism, was published in 2005 and endorsed by the ERACE Foundation (Eliminating Racism and Creating Equality). Scribble Guys was also featured at the 2005 Martin Luther King Day Celebration in Franklin, Tennessee. Currently, Allison is working with film producers from Hollywood, Paris, London, Toronto and New Delhi.
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    An interview with Ketaki Datta
    (2015-07-23) Elisabetta Marino; Ketaki Datta
    Ketaki Datta is an Associate Professor of English at Bidhannagar College, Kolkata; a novelist, a critic and a translator. She wrote her PhD thesis on Tennessee Williams, which she published in 2011 under the title The Black and Nonblack Shades of Tennessee Williams (Bookworld, Kolkata). Among her accomplishments as an editor, the following volumes deserve mention: Indo-Anglian Literature: Past to Present (Booksway, Kolkata, 2008), New Literatures in English (Bookworld, Kolkata, 2011), and Sahitya Akademi Award-winning English Collections: Critical Overviews and Insights (Authorspress, New Delhi, 2014). Her translation from Bengali of Paadi (The Voyage) by Jarasandha (the pen name of Charu Chandra Chakraverty) was published in 2008 (Booksway, Kolkata), while her translation of Shesh Namaskar by Santosh Kumar Ghosh (Shesh Namaskar = The Last Salute) was released in 2013 (Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi). Her articles and translations have been published in various international journals, and her poems are featured in Brian Wrixon’s anthology (Canada).  Her debut novel, A Bird Alone (Sarup Books, New Delhi, 2009) has been highly commended by the reviewer of Dorrance Publishing Co. (USA), besides being positively reviewed by Indian Literature (Sahitya Akademi), the Telegraph, and the Sunday Statesman (India).
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    An interview with Paul Binding
    (2015-07-23) Turner, Nick; Paul Binding
    Paul Binding is a British writer who has worked in many fields: he is a literary critic, novelist, reviewer and renowned expert in Scandinavian literature. His novels are Harmonica’s Bridegroom (1984, recently reprinted by Valancourt Books), Kingfisher Weather (1989), My Cousin the Writer (2002) and After Brock (2013). He has given lectures at universities and participated in cultural events in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Estonia. His memoir St Martin’s Ride, which focuses on his childhood in Germany soon after the end of the Second World War, was Sir Stephen Spender’s Book of the Year, and was awarded the J.R. Ackerley Prize for the best autobiographical book of 1990. He has frequently spent long periods abroad, and his time in Jackson, Mississipi as a visiting professor led to The Still Moment: Eudora Welty, Portrait of a Writer (1994). The book draws on the many conversations he had with Welty about her work. More recently, he published Imagined Corners: Exploring the World’s First Atlas (2003). He has frequently reviewed books for the Times Literary Supplement and The Independent. His most recent book is Hans Christian Andersen: European Witness (2014), which was very well reviewed and described by Amanda Craig in the Literary Review as his best work yet. An in-depth and wide-ranging literary biography, it sets Andersen’s work within a European context and pays close attention to his unjustly neglected work outside the fairy tales, such as the novel Improvisatore, which Binding argues was a great influence on Charles Dickens. I met and became friends with Paul through our mutual interest in the novelist Barbara Pym, and have since had many discussions with him about writers; he was the plenary speaker at the Barbara Pym Centenary Conference I organised in 2013. He lives in the beautiful small town of Bishop’s Castle, Shropshire, in the Welsh Marches – the border country of England and Wales. His website is http://www.paulbinding.co.uk/index.html.
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    On poetics, astrology and chiromancy with Irish poet and art therapist Gene Barry
    (2015-07-23) Gene Barry; Sharma, Sunil
    Gene Barry refuses to be pigeon-holed, labelled or restricted. A person with impressive academic and literary attainments, the restive Irishman from Cork continues to leave footprints across nations – by his public readings and promotion of poetry through festivals and publication of books and visits to schools and colleges. Barry’s book Stones in their Shoes was published in 2008 and in 2013 his collection Unfinished Business was published. He is presently editing his third collection. In 2010 he  was editor of the anthology Silent Voices, a collection of poems written by asylum seekers living in Ireland. Sunil Sharma catches up with the poet activist in an email interview in which the latter talks of things poetic, real and metaphysical.