Archer and Indian story-tellers

Jeffrey Archer’s 12-day visit to India may have been a treat for his readers. The media also gave him hospitable treatment and his new book lavish coverage. The English daily The Hindu in its Sunday Magazine carried an elaborate conversation with the writer.

With all the assertions on story-telling being his intrinsic worth, Jeffrey also makes a moot point. The author asks the reporter (Ziya Us Salam) for one “Indian guy” that he should read. Sarcastically though. “It is a little remark on the paucity of story-tellers from India”, pronounces the reporter in the following lines.
That the author of the bestseller Kane & Abel towers above most of his contenders in the story-telling business is a proven fact. But, to say that India does not have one readable story-teller will be a point bereft of logic.

Premchand’s classic stories are a creative interplay of tradition and modernity. So are the works of the distinguished story-teller R.K Narayan. Amitav Ghosh who recently released his much-awaited novel Sea of Poppies does not need much introduction when we talk of contemporary writers. It has been hailed as “the most eagerly awaited fiction title of the year”. The celebrated Vikram Seth is one of the most respected literary figures of present times. And that is not without his story-telling skills.

This is not to undervalue the various regional language writers of our country who get little publicity and attention from the media. The English daily did not publish my response to the article and Jeffrey’s comment.

My blog thankfully does not rest on their sanction.