Apartment C + What I’m Reading

I chose Apartment C (thanks for your input and good wishes, everyone — pictures below!). All’s well and I can tell I’m getting settled in because I’m acquiring books.

I bought a bunch of great stuff at the Queer Ink Book Fair, where I did a “talkfest” was really fun, at least for me! I talked about my book and read a couple of short sections. (Photo: me with some of the other writers & organizers.) I was ready to do some writing exercises too, but I think people were intimidated or feeling shy, so instead we ended up having a great conversation about writing process, courage, telling one’s own and other people’s stories, creativity, etc. Later there was an open mic where I read a couple of short pieces that people seemed to like.

Also bought a hot-off-the-presses “limited edition hardcover” of Samit Basu’s latest at his book launch last night. I was super excited because his Gameworld Trilogy is the best thing I’ve read, EVER. The reading was quite a shindig, with multiple television cameras, brand-name liquor, and celebrity host Cyrus Sahukar who introduced himself as a neurosurgeon-gynecologist-actor and then did a fake reading from the book that made it sound like a Danielle Steel/Shobha De novel. That was followed by a real reading by the author, as well as some jokes about Chetan Bhagat (maybe India’s most prominent mass-market writer) who was in the audience. Rumors of film offers for Samit’s novel already. Anyway it was all pretty entertaining.

Here’s some what’s on my shelves and nightstand now:

• Aditi & The One-Eyed Monkey — set of 12 kids’ books by Suniti Namjoshi — love these, so fun and playful and magical (thanks Queer Ink for gifting these to me!)

• Shame by Jasvinder Sanghera — stayed up late last night to finish this powerful story about a girl growing up in an oppressive family in England; the author went on to found a shelter for Asian women

• The Body & other stories by Hanif Kureishi — haven’t started this yet, he’s the British Indian author of My Beautiful Laundrette, The Buddha of Suburbia, etc

• Cinnamon Gardens by Shyam Selvadurai — gay Sri Lankan diaspora author of Funny Boy

• Zero Degree by Charu Nivedita — experimental short fiction

• Nuns, Yoginis, Saints & Singers: Women’s Renunciation in S Asia (anthology)

• Turbulence by Samit Basu

• Hindi-English Dictionary

• Teach Yourself Hindi

The great thing about being a writer is that all of this is “research.”

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