What Would A Truthful Kashmir Novel Look Like?

Feroz Rather at Public Books:

What would a successful war novel look like? This question, asked of a teacher years ago, concealed a deeper question I had: What would a truthful Kashmir novel look like? I have grappled for years with such questions, since I grew up amid the violent rebellion that Kashmiri Muslims waged against the Indian state in 1988. At first, I wondered whether the job of the novelist was to replicate the traumatic event that one had intimately witnessed.

But ultimately, I found that the work of a novelist demands something more. Thanks to reading my teacher Robert Olen Butler’s book From Where You Dream, I understood that novelists need to transmute history, metabolizing it into the human details that constitute the selfhood of the character. My first book, The Night of Broken Glass, features multiple fictional narrators who contemplate the killings and custodial torture and myriad massacres that happened in the recent history of Kashmir. In the process of writing these interweaving short stories, I realized it was only possible because I’d witnessed the events of excessive military violence as they were inflicted on my people.

more here.