I’m Indian. Can I Write Black Characters? Thrity Umrigar in the New York Times

https://nyti.ms/2y1K8lS How do you get under the skin of someone else? Thrity Umrigar, an Indian-American writer, talks about the expectations that come with the hyphenated identity: write about what you know, that is, Indians. But that is the point of fiction, surely? That a writer can get inside the head of any character they create, …

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Meena Kumari: Vinod Mehta

For many years, I’ve enjoyed the writing of Vinod Mehta, the editor of the Indian newsmagazine Outlook, so I was looking forward to reading his biography of Meena Kumari, an iconic Indian actress who died in 1972. But the biography was written on a commission soon after her death, when Mehta was a young man. …

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Leaves of the Banyan Tree: Albert Wendt

I didn’t know much about Samoa when I started reading this. I had come across parts of Margaret Mead’s 1928 anthropological study a long time ago, a study that was later proven to be inaccurate and misleading. And Robert Louis Stevenson spent his last years there. In short, I knew nothing about the country itself, …

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