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Large or small, joint or nuclear, caring or combative, The Great Indian Family is all-pervasive and hard to ignore – in real life or in fiction. No wonder it inveigles itself into all kinds of stories, from humour to romance, coming-of-age stories to accounts of personal struggles and, of course, in family sagas. Aruna Nambiar’s novel, The Monsters Still Lurk, follows the fortunes of a family over a quarter century as they grow up and grow old, while Nandita Bose’s Everglow hurls the loner Disha into a noisy joint family where nothing is as it seems on the surface. In Nandita’s tale where Hindustani classical music meets rock, the family is a support network as much as it is a distraction, while in Aruna’s novel, family dynamics keep shifting and evolving with the passage of time.
Join the authors Nandita Bose and Aruna Nambiar, in conversation with Subodh Sankar, as they discuss how they create authentic fictional families, capture bonds and undercurrents between kith and kin, replicate domestic dialogues and craft unforgettable stories of literary clans.
In a previous life, Aruna Nambiar was a student of engineering and management and a banker. Now a writer and editor, she writes tongue-in-cheek, slice-of-life novels about family, relationships and the idiosyncrasies of Indian society. Her debut novel, Mango Cheeks Metal Teeth, is a coming-of-age story and social satire set in 1980s Kerala. Her new novel, The Monsters Still Lurks, is an affectionate, poignant tale about a middle-class family growing up and growing old, set against the backdrop of a fast-changing, post-liberalisation India. A funny yet moving portrait of ageing, love, loss, filial and sibling relationships, it is also an evocative study of modern Indian society.
Nandita Bose is a Bangalore based writer, poet, book reviewer and occasional columnist. Her works include fiction against the backdrop of dilemmas: individual, situational, cultural or patriarchal. The focus is on the details of women’s journeys to self awareness bound by social sanction and consent. These narratives aim to bring back maturer women to the mainstream by addressing issues and situations that are relevant and intimately relatable. Nandita’s past occupational avatars have been in academics and as a consultant in the HR industry.
Subodh Sankar is the co-founder of Atta Galatta, a Bangalore based independent bookstore with a focus on Indian, vernacular writing and a venue for the art community of the city, that is popular for its literary, art and cultural events. He is also the founder of Bagels and Bakes, one of the city’s largest bakery manufacturers, who’s range of bread and other bakery products are found in all the leading supermarkets of the city.
Since its inception 6 years ago, the bookstore has hosted over 2000 events, including book launches, poetry readings, theatre performances, art shows, screenings, storytelling sessions and workshops. Atta Galatta has been associated with Bangalore Literature Festival, Lekhana Writers Festival, She the Woman, the Women’s Writer’s Festival and the Under-25 Literature Festival as the official bookstore partner for these events. Atta Galatta has also conceptualized and conducted the Bengaluru Poetry Festival, a unique platform that is solely dedicated to promoting the art of poetry by bringing leading poets from all over the world to Bangalore.
Subodh has in the past been an entrepreneur in the field of Information Technology. In 1998, his company Just Vox, an early pioneer in the field of speech recognition and speech synthesis, was a finalist for the Asian Innovation Awards, presented by Dow Corning and the Asian Wall Street Journal. Subodh lives in Bangalore, India, with his wife, teenage daughter and two dogs and is passionate about history, the business of sports and world cuisine.