Maniza Naqvi Interview

Shanaz Ramzi in Newsline:

Q: How is it that from graduating in something as prosaic as business, you began to write novels?

Intermanizehnaqvi1A: I’ve been writing for a long time; in fact, I began years before I went to business school or got a job. Everybody is multi-faceted, but not everyone gets the opportunity to exercise their whims. I’ve been lucky enough to both have a job and write.

Q: Do you think your exposure to world politics has given you an insight into political realities, which come to the fore in your books?

A: I think it is not my career that has given me a political insight but the conversations I’ve grown up with, the focus on following world events in the news and also my exposure to living in the heart of Karachi in the eighties, even if for a limited time. It was like I had a finger on the pulse of everything – I lived on Guru Mandir, and would drive all over the Site area, Korangi, Orangi and Malir, absorbing everything I could. I would watch the cricket match in Khudadad Colony every Friday.

I thought I had a sense of how things were and what was their logical trajectory, and followed my instincts on that trajectory. For instance, I wrote that a dictator would take over the country in a military coup, and in the name of eradicating fundamentalism, he would get rid of all opposition. I mentioned that Pakistan would be the darling of the west – particularly the general – and would be the new emerging economy because of its coalition against fundamentalism. When my father read the book prior to its publication, he insisted that I delete this portion as such a scenario of coups and martial law regimes were a thing of the past. Am I glad I didn’t listen to my dad on that occasion!

More here.