Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Pangea listed in The Hindu Books page

Thrilled to report that 'The Hindu' lists Pangea in its feature 'First Look' on the books and literature page on December 2, 2012. It appears online on December 3 and maybe seen if you scroll down the page.

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ARTS » BOOKS           December 3, 2012

First Look

Pangea: An Anthology of Stories from Around the Globe, Edited by Indira Chandrasekhar and Rebecca Lloyd, Thames River Press, price not stated
This anthology of 34 short stories by 25 writers from 13 countries is a reflection of the title. Pangea means “all lands” or “all earth”. The writers include journalists, scientists, a lawyer, a costume designer, a magazine editor, a crofter in the Scottish highlands, a bookseller, and a writer-in-residence at a young offenders’ prison. Their narratives are equally diverse and distinctive —whether about a man’s confrontation and failure on a road in Scotland, the dramatic preparations for a big birthday party in Nigeria, or the moment a young man comes face-to-face with his Bollywood idol — but have an enormous commonality. The conflicts faced and the emotions felt are recognisable, irrespective of the authors’cultural identities or the settings of the stories themselves.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Two of my Stories reprinted in Necessary Fiction

I am very pleased that two of my stories, Abandoned Rooms and Stretch, Open Up, Stretch have been chosen to be reprinted by Stefanie Freele, the October writer in residence at Necessary Fiction. Here is the link.

In introducing Stefanie to Necessary Fiction, editor Steve Himmer suggests that we ‘enjoy the ride this month to whatever compressed universes Stefanie’s going to guide us to’. Stefanie’s perspectives on her theme for the month which is the Earth and the environment, or as she sums it up, ‘Thinking about the planet, the weather, the earth, our stories’, may be found in her article October without a Chill in the Air.

Abandoned Rooms first appeared in Emprise Review and Stretch, Open Up, Stretch has recently been published in Pachinko Magazine.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Pangea Readings

At the Thunderbolt, Bristol, July 4, 2012:

At the Blackwell's Bristol launch, July 26, 2012:

At unputdownable, the Bristol Literature Festival, October 20, 2012:

Monday, October 15, 2012

'Stretch, Open Up, Stretch' in Pachinko Magazine

Stretch, Open Up, Stretch appears in the inaugural issue of Pachinko Magazine. This is a story I wrote some years ago and recently edited again before submitting. I am pleased it is published, since in some ways it marked a transition to a more deliberate and crafted style of writing.

The story is accompanied by an amazing illustration by Caitlin Allen.

“Twist, twist further. Back straight. Do you feel the deep stretch in your hip?” Kamini could feel it, releasing, opening, stretching.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Out of Print 9

Out of Print 9 features a single work by U R Ananthamurthy. The Hunt, The Bangle and The Chameleon, has not been published in translated form before.

The cover is an image from a collaborative community project by N S Harsha.

Chandrahas Choudhury in his review of the recently translated Bharathipura (translation, Sushila Punitha, Oxford University Press, 2011) comments that ‘Mr Ananthamurthy … takes as his great theme Hinduism's relationship to modernity.’ Professor Anathamurthy’s work, Tim Parks says ‘has the all difficulty and rewards of the genuinely exotic, … [in comparison to] the far more familiar Indians writing in English ... who have used their energy and imagination to present a version of India to the West where exoticism is at once emphasized and made easy.

One of Professor Ananthamurthy’s most acclaimed novels is Samskara: A Rite for a Dead Man (translation A K Ramanujan, Oxford University Press, 1976) later made into an award winning film by Pattabhi Rama Reddy. In India: A Wounded Civilisation (Andre Deutsch 1977, Penguin, 1979), V S Naipaul sees the novel that in his view captures ‘the Indian idea of the self’, as ‘a form of social inquiry’ which highlights the decay of Indian civilisation. Refuting this as too limited an interpretation, R K Gupta in his article, The ‘Fortunate Fall’ in U R Anantha Murthy’s Samskara (International Fiction Review, 7 (1), 1980, pp. 20-28) suggests that the ‘moral and spiritual growth’ of the protagonist, the Brahmin Praneshacharya ‘through what might be called his "fortunate fall" defines the theme and controls the form’ of the novel. The critical event of the acharya’s ‘felix culpa’ is his encounter with Chandri, a woman of low caste that leaves him recognising that ‘he has lost his virtue. At the same time ... he has ... [a] sense of having attained ... not only physical and emotional fulfillment but also an increased moral awareness as well as a broadening and refining of his human perceptions.’ 

We offer that The Hunt, The Bangle and TheChameleon explores both the social themes of transition and modernity that occupy Professor Ananthamurthy, as well as the transformation of the individual, although here, the defining change in the protagonist, Krishnaswamy comes not from an encounter with sin, but rather with innocence.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Interviews with Pangea Editors

Rebecca Lloyd and I talk about putting Pangea together:

Interviewed at Writewords on finding and editing the stories in Pangea

Reflect on the making of the anthology at Crawl Space

On how to create a must-read anthology at Nokia Connect

At Flash Fiction Chronicles about many aspects of Pangea

More Links to Pangea

Pangea is mentioned at 

The Bristol Short Story Prize site: 'Pangea Anthology Features BSSP Writers'  

Nabina Das' Asian Cha blog as a link to Rumjhum Biswas' 'Writers and Writerisms: 'Meet My Friends At Pangea Once More'

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Pangea Reviewed

 Pangeareviews and listings. Pangea may be purchased here

The Hindu books page.

Valerie O'Riordan says it is a 'strong and diverse collection'. 

Book Geek writes a comment on each story.

Jonathan Pinnock says 'it's a pretty impressive collection'. 

An Interview on the r.kv.r.y. blog

Rebecca Lloyd prompts me to reflect upon my own writing in an interview for the r.kv.r.y. blog.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Scientific Publications, Indira Chandrasekhar

Scientific Publications, Indira Chandrasekhar

van Gunsteren W F, Bakowies D, Baron R, Chandrasekhar I, Christen M, Daura X, Gee P, Geerke D P, Glättli A, Hünenberger P H, Kastenholz M A, Oostenbrink C, Schenk M, Trzesniak D, van der Vegt N F A and Yu H B
Angew Chem Int Ed 45 4064-4092 2006

Chandrasekhar I, van Gunsteren W F, Zandomeneghi G, Williamson P and Meier B H
J Am Chem Soc 128(1) 159-170 2006

Glättli A, Chandrasekhar I and van Gunsteren W F
Eur Biophys J 35 (3) 255-267 2005

de Vries A, Chandrasekhar I, Hünenberger P, and van Gunsteren W F
J Phys Chem B 109 (23) 11643-11652 2005

Chandrasekhar I, Bakowies D, Glättli A, Hünenberger P, Pereira C and van Gunsteren W F
Mol Sim 31(8) 543-548 2005

Chandrasekhar I, Oostenbrink C and van Gunsteren W F
Soft Materials 2 (1) 27-45 2004

Pereira C S, Lins R D, Chandrasekhar I, Freitas L C G and Hünenberger P H
Biophys J 86 (4) 2273-2285 2004

Chandrasekhar I, Kastenholz M, Lins R D, Oostenbrink C, Schuler L D, Tieleman D P and van Gunsteren W F
Eur Biophys J 32 (1) 67-77 2003

Chandrasekhar I and van Gunsteren W F
Eur Biophys J 31 (2) 89-101 2002

Chandrasekhar I and van Gunsteren W F
Curr Sci India 81 (10) 1325-1327 2001

van Gunsteren W F, Bakowies D, Bürgi R, Chandrasekhar I, Christen M, Daura X, Gee P, Glattli A, Hansson T, Oostenbrink C, Peter C, Pitera J, Schuler L D, Soares T and Yu H
Chimia 55 (10) 856-860 2001

Chandrasekhar I, Gaber B P and Nagumo M
J Biomol Struct Dyn 10 (1) 239-251 1992

Chandrasekhar I, Clore G M, Szabo A, Gronenborn, A M and Brooks, B R
J Mol Biol 226 (1) 239-250 1992

Chandrasekhar I
In Biomembrane structure and function: the state of the art, eds Gaber B P, Easwaran K R K, Adenine Press, Albany, NY 1992, pp 353-363

Rudolph B R, Chandrasekhar I, Gaber B P and Nagumo M
Chem Phys Lipids 53 (2-3) 243-261 1990

Lambrakos S G, Boris J P, Oran E S, Chandrasekhar I and Nagumo M
 J Comput Phys 85 (2) 473-486 1989

Chandrasekhar I and Sasisekharan V
Mol Cell Biochem 91 (1-2) 173-182 1989

Chandrasekhar I
Research supervisor: V.  Sasisekharan.
Department: Molecular Biophysics Unit
Indian Institute of Science 1989
Abstract published in the IISC J 70 (6) 553-555 1990

Chandrasekhar I and Gaber B P
J Biomol Struct Dyn 5 (6) 1163-1171 1988

Gaber B P, Chandrasekhar I and Pattabiraman N
In Membranes, Macromolecules and Stability in the Dry State, ed Leopold A C, Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY, 1986, pp 231-241

In Process

Oostenbrink C, Chandrasekhar I and van Gunsteren W F
The free energy of solvation of alkyl esters in aqueous and bilayer environments
ms in prep

Monday, August 27, 2012

Producing an Anthology: Pangea

Pangea Blog Tour

This post is the eighth on the Pangea blog tour (updated links here), and so many of the writers have had a chance to talk about their work – and about being part of Pangea. Tremendous, really! To think that when we began our first email conversations about the anthology, Rebecca and I had no idea whether we would find enough stories to make up an entire book (which is silly considering what a number of lovely writers there are on Writewords), let alone getting a publisher, and marketing the book. It’s wonderful having it released and visible, and hopefully being read.

I spend a lot of time as, I presume, many of you reading this post do, immersed in short fiction. In my case, reading, writing and editing stories. Editing for Out of Print, the short fiction magazine I run is akin to but different from the experience with Pangea. Out of Print appears quarterly, we get a range of stories, and each quarter, of the best we get, we choose the ones we like and that we think work together. We examine these for grammar and style. Sometimes we are invasive, but more often than not, we maintain some distance from the story when editing it. The idea, after all, is to showcase the range of work we receive. With Pangea, however, because we were trying to create a coherent piece of work with consistency in quality and sharpness we read each story with acute engagement, and with, may I say, an intimate eye.

The collaborative editing process Rebecca and I devised was careful and exhaustive. The stories were distributed between the two of us for the first read. Each of us identified stylistic as well as grammar and punctuation related questions that struck us, and offered solutions. The story was then passed to the other editor, and then back, going through as many cycles as was required to make it satisfactory. While the process was thoughtful, it also developed organically and at one point we had a ridiculously elaborate yet reliable colour code that also made use of both lower and upper case letters. I am not sure the authors would have been reassured had they seen one of their stories marked in red, blue, green, lavender, pink…. During that intense period of interaction on the works, not only did the colours make complete sense and help us keep track of our comments, but the excessiveness of it was funny. Might your pink comma in the middle of the blue sentence in the green paragraph be replaced by a semi-colon? – bizarre avatars of McCall Smith’s German professors? No not at all, just the Pangea editors at work.

When the editing was done, I realised that I had invested my creative energy in a way that was having consequences on my writing. Having the editors eye so on the alert while writing myself was obstructive and it took me some time to get back into an easier flow. Despite that, I loved it. Harold Ross, founding editor of the New Yorker is known to have said, ‘Editing is the same as quarreling with writers--same thing exactly’(1). That was in the early part of the 20th Century. Whether it is because it is a different time, place, product, or type of writer, our experience with Pangea was the opposite: civilised and respectful and rewarding. Negative things have also been said about editing an anthology. The University of Iowa Press for example, has this on their site, ‘The truth is that you're not going to make any money or advance your professional career and you will spend an enormous amount of time organizing and collating your material.’ (2). Although, they do continue in the next sentence with, ‘But still there is something satisfying about creating a collection that adds up to more than the sum of its parts, about articulating an idea that is dear to you, about carrying this idea out until it becomes a solid book.’(2). I think putting together an anthology is akin to curating an exhibition. Every piece of art is chosen with care and juxtaposed thoughtfully and reflects the sensibilities of the curator/s; and together, the pieces have a meaning.

One of the exciting milestones in the Pangea process was finding a publisher, especially one with a connection to both India and the UK. It seemed so very appropriate – I live in India, Rebecca in the UK and we were looking to find someone who would understand what bridging worlds is like. Unfortunately, the extraordinarily serendipitous connection isn’t something we have been able to avail of to the fullest extent – the book is not out in India yet. In early 2011, Chandrahas Choudhury said on his highly regarded blog, The Middle Stage: India’s book economy is, however, on a different arc, from that of the West and, like the Indian newspaper industry, is still on its way up rather than down. For an observer of Indian literature in English (for the purposes of this essay, I include under “Indian literature in English” both work originally written in English and that translated into English), the last decade was full of bright lights on all three counts of publishing, book-selling, and the density and internal diversity of the idea of literature and the spread of a reading culture. (3) A year and a half after that essay, there are even more publishing houses than those listed by Chandrahas that are bringing books out in India – AlephHachette India, Bloomsbury India to name but three. It is an exciting time to be writing, and an exciting time to be published in India. And Pangea will be released here soon, we have been told.

Would I do another anthology? Yes. It was acutely rewarding and I would love working with Rebecca again. And discovering wonderful new writing is always exciting. Thank you, once again, to all our Pangea writers for their contributions.

1. From an article by Richard Nordquist in About.com
2. The University of Iowa Press guidelines
3. A survey of Indian Literature by Chandrahas Choudhury

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Pangea Blog Tour: updates

Purchase Pangea in hard copy or kindle on Amazon UK Amazon US Flipkart

July 9: ‘Reflections on the making of Pangea’ at Crawl Space, Bristol, UK. The editors talk about choosing a publisher for Pangea.
July 12: ‘Working with other writers’ at Words in Place, California, USA. Gay Degani and Sarah Hilary discuss themes of support, discovery and feedback.
July 18: ‘How to create a must read short story collection’ at Nokia Connects, worldwide. Feature by Joel Willans talking to editors, Rebecca Lloyd and Indira Chandrasekhar.
July 30: ‘Promoting Pangea’ at Deborah Rickards blog, Bristol, UK. Debs Rickard reports from the launch of Pangea at Blackwell’s.
Aug 9: ‘Sarah Hilary Interview - Pangea Anthology’ at Women Rule Writer, Ireland. Nuala Ni Chonchúir interviews Sarah Hilary about weddings fairs and trailers parks, and the inspiration for her stories.
Aug 19: 'PANGEA blog tour: short stories travelling the globe' at Michelle Elvy’s blog, New Zealand. Clayton Lister's piece about discovering Writewords and being in Pangea.
Aug 20: 'Not Exactly True' at Valerie O’Riordan’s blog, Manchester, UK. Lisa Marie Trump talks about extending her writing from the theatre to the literary space.
Aug 27: ‘Producing an Anthology: Pangea’ at Indira Chandrasekhar’s blog, Mumbai, India. Indira  talks about the editing process, on putting the anthology together, and on Pangea in India. 
Sept 2: 'Pangea author Tara Conklin' at Oonah Joslin’s blog, Northumberland, UK. Tara tells Oonnah how writing has gone from being something private to playing a role in her decision to leave a job in the city.   
Sept 9: 'An Interview with Oonah V. Joslin' at Tara Conklin’s blog, Seattle, USA. Oonah talks to Tara about her story, 'Missie's Summer', a story of loss, and about other things that she is working on.
Sept 16: ‘Cultural writing and inspiration’ at Crawl Space, Bristol UK. Fehmida Zakeer and Liesl Jobson discuss their stories, and about how they view their own work as a sort of homecoming. 
Sept 23: 'An Interview with Joel Willans - Pangea Blog Tour' at Unmitigated Audacity, Southampton, UK. Joel talks to Calum Kerr.
Oct 1: 'Pangea' at Vanessa Gebbie’s blog, Brighton, UK. Vanessa opens the post with a mention of the Bristol launch and Tom Williams talks about working with his 'inner editor'.
Jan 2013: Feature article in ‘The New Writer’ magazine, worldwide

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Pangea Editors on Everyday Fiction's Flash Fiction Chronicles

Rebecca Lloyd and myself appear in Everyday Fiction's Flash Fiction Chronicles to talk about Pangea. Here is the link

In addition to talking to us, the editors, Flash Fiction Chronicles interviewed us those Pangea writers who also write flash fiction. The authors talk about their short stories that appear in Pangea.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Out of Print 8

The June 2012 issue of Out of Print is late. But in the interim since the March release, we celebrated the successes of our authors on the Out of Print blog: 

-Three of authors have new publications, one of which is a collection of short fiction. 
-One has a novel translated into German, and released in Berlin
-Many have made lists and won accolades

And, we discussed the interesting dilemmas we face given the complexity of the Indian voice in English, and how it can waver from acceptable norms of grammar and punctuation, syntax and format, and yet tell a good story.