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'Writers should be judged by work not gender'

india Updated: Jul 03, 2011 00:30 IST
Divya Sethi
Divya Sethi
Hindustan Times
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It was a memorable event for fans of Amitav Ghosh, who was here to launch his book River of Smoke at Landmark, a book and music store in Gurgaon, on Saturday.

His fans were seen lining up to get copies of their books autographed.

While commenting on VS Naipaul's remark on women writers, he said, “It is important to distinguish work and man. I personally think that a writer cannot be judged in terms of gender. It would be unjustified if we start appreciating the writer on the basis of gender. Rather he should be judged by his work. I don’t know how the statement was given but I don’t agree with it.”

He further said, “I really admire some of his work. Naipaul is a great writer and has given some good books to the society and I indeed admire him for this.”

Notably, VS Naipaul, the winner of the 2001 Nobel prize for literature, while giving an interview at Royal Geographic Society mentioned that women writers are not as good as men.

Further talking about the touch of history in his books he said, “I loved history as a subject even during my college days and may be that interest is visible in my novels too.”

Amitav Ghosh is also inspired by Egyptian writers. Three years after the launch of ‘Sea of Poppies’, the first book in the Ibis Trilogy, the celebrated author was seen signing books for his enthusiastic fans, who were more than delighted to be a part of this moment.

‘River of Smoke’ is the second in the Ibis Trilogy, the first of which, the best-selling ‘Sea of Poppies’, was shortlisted for the Man Booker prize in 2008. His other works include ‘The Circle of Reason’, which won the Prix Médicis Étranger Award, ‘The Shadow Lines’ the Sahitya Akademi Award, In an Antique Land, The Calcutta Chromosome gave him the Arthur C Clarke Award which brought laurels for the country.