Of autopsies and short fiction

Feb 03, 2015, 08:19 IST | The Guide Team

Winnipeg-born and Bengaluru-based Kuzhali Manickavel speaks of her second collection of short stories, Things We Found During The Autopsy

Q. What is your take on short short fiction and do you hope to try other forms of writing?
A. I enjoy reading and writing short short fiction a lot. Some people tend to be dismissive of it because of its length but just as longer forms have their joys and strengths of perspective, so does short short fiction. I tried writing a novel once but that didn’t go very well.

Blaft Publications
Things We Found During The Autopsy, short fiction by Kuzhali Manickavel, Blaft Publications, `350. Available at Amazon.in and Blaft.com

Q. Your writing is emphatically imagistic. What is your process of writing? Do images come to you first?
A. I think it varies— sometimes, it is an image; at other times, a misheard phrase or a scrap of conversation. I do a lot of reading about different aspects of the story that I think may be important. My writing process also involves almost endless revision; lots of re-writing.

Q. Your voice is extremely unique and as The Guardian dubbed it as one of the best and “weird” for Insects Are Just Like You And Me Except Some of Them Have Wings. How did you find your voice and audience as a writer?
A. It took many years of writing and learning —I feel that I still have a lot of learning ahead of me, and I believe that is an important part of the writing process. It also involved making the decision to write stories that I enjoyed writing instead of what other people thought I should be writing.

Q. Which is your favourite story in the book?
A. I like all of them but I’m particularly fond of Boys Like That, The Twins, Six Things We Found During the Autopsy and the Tropicool Icy-Land series of stories.

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