Showing posts with label South Asian writers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label South Asian writers. Show all posts

Tuesday, 23 June 2020

Shreya Sen-Handley Talks the Strange and Unexpected in her Short Stories with Elaine Chiew

Credit Stephen Handley
Bio: Former television journalist and producer Shreya Sen-Handley is the author of two books with HarperCollins, the recently published short story collection Strange and the award-winning Memoirs of My Body. She is also a columnist for the international media, writing for the National Geographic, CNN and The Guardian amongst others, a creative writing teacher, illustrator, and a librettist for the Welsh National Opera. She is currently writing her third book for HarperCollins, The Accidental Tourist, a travelogue, alongside her monthly column for top Indian newspapers, the Asian Age and Deccan Chronicle. The opera she has co-written, ‘Migrations’, will tour the UK in 2021. 


EC: Welcome to Asian Books Blog, Shreya. Congratulations on your short story collection, Strange (HarperCollins India, 2019). How long was it in the making, and tell us what your short story collection is about. 

SSH: Thank you Elaine. “What’s your next book?” asked my editors at HarperCollins the minute my first book ‘Memoirs of My Body’ was published in 2017. I said I was considering writing more short stories. I had written a handful in the 3 years my first book, Memoirs of My Body, had been brewing and each had gone on to be published, broadcast or shortlisted in competitions in Australia, UK and India, and thought readers might want a few more. I certainly enjoyed writing them and was eager to write more. My editors loved the idea, and noticed something I hadn’t really consciously wrought- an unexpected turn to most of my stories, and so this collection of ‘profoundly unsettling and unusual’ short stories was conceived. There were in the end, appropriately, 13 stories in all, and they covered a variety of genres – romance, comedy, science fiction, dystopia, horror, supernatural, crime, etc. There was no attempt to write on the same subject every time, or restrict myself to a genre. Instead the idea was to focus on the unexpected in every aspect of our everyday lives, and uncover, as a result, the strangeness that lies beneath the seemingly ordinary. 
Courtesy HarpeCollins India