Shinie Antony pens her latest novel on a young man’s solitude
Séance on a Sunday Afternoon, a book by Shinie Antony was launched by writer Chetan Bhagat recently.
The slim 182-page novel deals with a young man’s attempts to strike a balance between his solitude and his journey to redefine his need for society.
A lively interaction was also held with Chetan Bhagat quizzing the author on various issues such as balancing her writing and family life, her treatment of gender in her books, her preference for short stories over novels etc.
Shinie said her career as a journalist aided and honed her writing skills to a great extent. She also drew similarities between the work of a journalist (sub-editor) and a housewife.
She likened the role of a housewife in whipping up a dinner to a sub-editor’s responsibility to give structure to stories filed and dish it out to the reader.
Shinie also spoke of the difficulties faced by a housewife with children, in managing a career in writing. However, she said that her focus was mainly on mood pieces. She was not a disciplined writer per se, following strict schedules.
She also discussed the strong female perspective in most of her stories. She preferred short stories as it is more important to express one’s feelings than be concerned with the medium involved.
Bhagat said: “She has been a ‘guru’ who had helped me in my career as a writer.” Bhagat also read out some select passages from the book.
Shinie said that in the final chapters of the book titled The Blogger, an attempt has been made to write in a style similar to a blog entry, and where she has even attempted to write in SMS lingo.
Shinie has written nearly seven books, including three children’s books, the most popular being Goddy Tales. She is presently working on a book on Indian English. She is the author of Barefoot and Pregnant and Planet Polygamous. She has won the Commonwealth Broadcasting Prize (Asia) for short story writing in 2002.NIKHIL VARMA