Janice Pariat, the author of Boats on Land, Seahorse and The Nine Chambered Heart was at The People’s Studio at ARTEM to conduct a workshop on ‘How to Read as a Writer’ on 27th Jan. While in conversation with Roshni Chetri, Digital Editor, ARTEM, she critiqued the practice of labelling writers from the region as a ‘Northeastern’ writers, since ‘there are no Northeastern writers, just as there are no North Indian writers.’
As part of The People’s Studio at ARTEM’s ongoing effort to create opportunities for capacity building in creative arts, the workshop was organized to present a deeper look at the process of reading. Dissecting assigned readings for the workshop, the participants were taken from decoding choices made by the writer in who becomes the narrator – from whose perspective the story is written – to literary motifs and language. Following the workshop was a reading by the author of selected stories from Boats on Land and her most recent work, The Nine Chambered Heart.
The last program for the evening was a conversation with the author during which the structure of her novels to the presence of same-sex relationships in each of her books was explored. Reflecting on the two readings assigned for the workshop and talking about good writing, Pariat said, ‘Good writing takes the familiar and makes you see it in a new way. It’s about taking every-day mundane life and making you see it anew.’ The evening ended with a question-answer round with the audience.