This has been, despite all my early planning, a year of not as much published writing as I would have liked (or even as much as in 2018.) That said, I had 11 pieces published during the year. Six of these were my monthly short stories column at PopMatters. The rest were book reviews at Scroll.in and PopMatters. I also wrote a couple of new short stories for my upcoming collection, Each of Us Killers, with 7.13 Books. There was another round of edits for my upcoming translation of Dhumketu's selected short stories, with HarperCollins India. There were a couple of fun panel discussions at the Jaipur Literary Festival. And a lovely interview about books and the reading life with ShethePeople.
July's monthly column at PopMatters featured five short stories about siblings by these fine contemporary writers: Martha Bátiz, K Anis Ahmed, Jenny Zhang, Lidudumalingani, and Kseniya Melnik. While there are certainly wonderful classics by writers like D H Lawrence, Flannery O'Connor, et al, these contemporary writers have explored finer and deeper nuances of sibling relationships using singular narrative styles and voices.
This month, we look at intimate relationships that happen later in life — older women finding love in unexpected and interesting ways. These stories avoid the usual stereotypes/tropes to show all the complexities & intensities of later-life relationships, including how society responds to them. The authors — Elizabeth Taylor, Toni Cade Bambara, Lucia Berlin, Amy Bloom, and Yiyun Li — cover a wide range of issues and themes in these stories and the women protagonists are, for the most part, strong-minded and reaching for the love (or lust) relationships they want despite what people around them say or do. We certainly need more such later-life love stories, especially stories with more diverse and unconventional relationships from all around the world. As Isaac Bashevis Singer had once said: "The novelists never told us that in love, as in other matters, the young are just beginners and that the art of loving matures with age and experience."