The Greatest Indian Novels: Interview with Amitav Ghosh

Two of your novels, The Hungry Tide and The Shadow Lines, feature in our list of the greatest Indian novels of all time. If you had to pick one (of all your works), which would it be?
The Hungry Tide and The Shadow Lines are both very close to my heart. It is wonderful to know that they both feature on this list.

Which of all your books was the most difficult to write?
It's always the one I'm currently working on.

Which writers (and books) have you been most influenced by?
It differs from book to book. For The Shadow Lines it was Marcel Proust's Remembrance of Things Past. The Hungry Tide was influenced by many writers including Mahasweta Devi, Gopinath Mohanty, Sunil Gangopadhyaya, Graham Swift and Rainer Maria Rilke.

What is your writing schedule? You're so active on the Internet, but we hear you still do most of your writing longhand.
I generally write through the day; and yes, I do most of my writing by hand, usually with a pencil or a fountain pen. Compared to writing prose longhand re-tweeting is very easy.

What was the last good Indian novel you read?
Neel Mukherjee's recently published The Lives of Others.

From HT Brunch, June 22

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