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‘Being a woman writer is dangerous’

An Argentinian writer who steers clear of ‘sensitive’ writing. Sonakshi Babbar writes.

books Updated: Jan 21, 2012 18:26 IST

Is there a word which combines sexy and intellectual? No, but it can be ‘Pola Oloixarac’ after the stunning Argentine author. An Anne Hathaway look-alike, covered up in a white top, short blue skirt, sheer stockings and blood-red boots, Oloixarac looks straight out a fashion glossy. But that is only before she starts expounding her views on Argentina’s intelligentsia and the philosophy of Mario Vargas Llosa. Author of a socio-political satire, Wild Theories, Oloixarac has been panned by critics for her ‘manly writing’. “My book is satire on the intellectual life in Argentina and it brings to light the technological and sexual games of youth of Buenos Aires. It is also a critique of the 1970s revolutionary Left that has gone through a major revisionism at the hands of the government.”

Unlike many women writers, her books do not pander to the preconceived notion of women’s writing. “A book is something so dangerous, but you don’t know it till it goes out into the world. Being a woman writer is a dangerous thing. You’re supposed to write about relationships, the home, love as if the mind of a woman is constrained to that. The novel itself was popularised by women, not men,” she says with evident relish.

Her own writings may steer clear of the ‘sensitivity’ expected from women writers, but she adores many. “There’re are so many ‘wow’ women writers. I love the works of Victoria Ocampo (Tagore’s muse for 17 years). I like women writers not because of their gender but because they bring so much richness to their work.” As she talks about the book, she flicks back her hair, which is quite a distraction. How does she cope with sexual discrimination.

“Initially, I was very shocked to see so much sexual prejudice and used to go out with my book like a warrior to war. But now I have learnt that it is part of the game.”