Podcast: Author Madhuri Vijay on Her Award-Winning Book, “The Far Field”
In the wake of her mother’s untimely death, a young woman from Bangalore--born into a life of privilege--drops everything and travels to the opposite end of India--to the state of Jammu and Kashmir--to search for a long-lost figure from her childhood--an enigmatic Kashmiri man named Bashir Ahmed.
What follows is a tale of romance, intrigue, conflict, politics, self-discovery, and tragedy. Readers will find this and much more in the best-selling novel, The Far Field, written by author Madhuri Vijay. The book won the 2019 JCB Prize for Literature, one of India’s most prestigious literary awards. The Washington Post book critic Ron Charles says that The Far Field “offers something essential: a chance to glimpse the lives of distant people captured in prose gorgeous enough to make them indelible — and honest enough to make them real.”
This week, Milan Vaishnav (Director of the South Asia programme at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace) speaks with Vijay from her home in Hawaii. They discuss Vijay’s journey as a writer, her decision to set her book in Kashmir, and the surprising connections between her idyllic adopted home of Hawaii and the conflicted state of Jammu and Kashmir.