Ahmad Saidullah interview

From The Artisanal Writer:

How did you conceive your first book?

I had a lot of free time to reflect and ‘fabulate’ when I was laid up in bed with a spinal injury. I wrote these linked stories — some remembered, some invented — in seven months. It took another three to edit them and send them out to literary awards and publishers. I was lucky with the reception.

I should mention the CBC Literary Award, Heather Birrell’s generous review in Quill & Quire when the book came out, and making the longlist of the Crossword Vodafone Award for global South Asian fiction and the finals of the Danuta Gleed Award.

What memorable or formative experience around learning to write springs to mind?

Reading and thinking led to writing. There were all kinds of books at home. I spent quite a bit of time alone as I was often hospitalized when I was young. I remember James Baldwin’s Going to Meet the Man, but I didn’t get it all at that age. I was truly shaken when I re-read it later at Cambridge. Like many, I loathed V.S. Naipaul for his neo-colonial take on India.

More here.