curledup.com is pleased to present
reviewer Sonia Chopra's brief Q&A with Anita Rau Badami, author of
The Hero's Walk and Tamarind
Anita Rau Badami was born in Rourkela near Orissa but lived all over North India - Kolkata, Lucknow, and Gauhati, among other cities. She earned a bachelorís degree in English from the University of Madras and went on to study journalism at Sophia College in Bombay. Badamiís second book, The Hero's Walk, won the Commonwealth Best Book Prize in the Canada/ Caribbean region and was nominated for the 2002 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.
Where were you born and raised?
I was born in India in 1961 and was raised in many cities all over the country. Although, my family Ďs roots are in the southern part of India, I hardly lived there. I spent most of my life in the north and east of India.
How did you come to Canada?
I immigrated with my husband Madhav, who wanted to study environmental sciences. We first came to Calgary but now we live in Montreal. We have a 15-year-old son, Aditya.
Do you ever go back to India?
Yes. I have family there. My grandmothers, aunts and uncles. I go back once every two to three years.
Are any of the characters real in the book?
Is it autobiographical?
No, itís all fiction. I have borrowed liberally from my memories and used settings familiar to me, but thatís it.
How did you become a writer?
I loved reading. I read avidly and the books available to us at that time were by British authors such Enid Blyton, Agatha Christie and P G Wodehouse. I wrote my first short story at the age of 17. I was paid 75 rupees, which translated to five or six books I could buy.
So, you wrote fiction?
No, I also wrote for newspapers and magazines for seventeen years.
What do you enjoy about being a writer?
I think writing is what I do best. I love making some stories and playing with words.
How long does it take you to write a book?
Two to three years.
Have you already started working on your next book?
Yes, it is based in India. It has a working title, Can You Hear the Night Bird Sing?
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