Monday, October 25, 2010

CROCUS and Tulika at Saffron Tree

It's that time of the year again. When Saffron Tree-rs treat the rest of us to a week-long celebration of culturally unique stories through CROCUS.
Read Ranjani's note welcoming readers to CROCUS here. You can also crack the CROCUS code to win books reviewed during the week at Saffron Tree. CROCUS has been featured at Women's Web. If you want a chance to win Dinaben and the Lions of Gir, you should check out this interview. Here's a beautiful review of Aiyappan and the Magic Horse posted as part of the CROCUS celebrations.
Today, they feature an interview of our very own writer and editor extraordinaire Sandhya Rao. Here's are some excerpts:


You write for pre schoolers and for young adults as well? How would your approach be different apart from the obvious?
Well, I haven’t written for young adults as yet (unless you’re thinking of books like Suresh and the Sea, and My Friend the Sea). I love to write for little ones. Fundamentally, though, writing is about communicating, having a conversation with yourself/your readers. At least that’s how I see it. And the basic difference I see is that in your conversation with little ones, you have to be clear, explicit, whereas with older readers you can be alittle more ambiguous, you can assume much more, your reference points can reach out much further.

How do books that offer a wholesome flavour of ethnic culture (such as Tulika) fare elsewhere in the world? Can you name some books, publishers in other countries?
I think they’re faring much better of late. The West at least is slowly trying to shed its baggage of preconceived notions, or its rather limited ideas of what being multicultural means. I have to put this in context: India is such a multicultural, pluralistic, multilingual society/culture, that our understanding/acceptance, general speaking, is far more widely spread. Often what is understood as ethnic culture is limited to old texts and stories and pictures and so on. The world of contemporary society is often overlooked. It’s important to understand this as well. We have to understand cultures, unfamiliar cultures, as they are now, as they have evolved, with their histories and practices and ways of life, and not frozen in one exotic time.
There are publishers such as Kane and Miller, NorthSouth, Charlesbridge, Frances Lincoln and so on who are open to such books… they are selective, but they are willing to consider other cultures/books..


When you take a regional folk tale/ cumulative tale/ rhyme and publish it are there any copyright issues? It is publicly available is it not?
Well, these are in the public domain. In any case, folktales, for instance, change with every telling…. Sometimes change completely. That’s how you have different versions in different parts of the world. They belong to the world’s resource, I suppose.

Anything in particular that you would like to tell the contributors and readers of Saffron Tree?There’s nothing to beat books and reading! You really can travel the world with them.
Read the full interview at the Saffron Tree blog.

1 comment:

  1. Great interview with a wonderful author and editor. I encourage everyone who reads this to go to the Saffron Tree site and read the whole interview and also the interview with Uma Krishnswamy.
    Stephen Aitken


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