MPH Breakfast Club with ... Kunal BASU
“Can Marketing Kill the Arts?”: Read what KUNAL BASU has to say about this in the April-June 2008 issue of Quill magazine!
The 13th MPH Breakfast Club on Saturday, April 19, 2008, at 11.00a.m. to 12.30p.m., will be featuring U.K.-based novelist and short-story writer Kunal Basu, the author of such novels as The Opium Clerk (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2001/Phoenix, 2002), The Miniaturist (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2003/Phoenix, 2004) and Racists (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2006/Phoenix, 2007) as well as a short-story collection, The Japanese Wife (HarperCollins India, 2008).
Kunal Basu was born in , but has spent much of his adult life in and the U.S. He has taught at in and has been a Professor of Marketing at Templeton College, , England. He has also acted in films in and written a screenplay, Snakecharmer, as well as written and directed two documentaries.
“It’s an improbable and hauntingly beautiful love story, almost surreal in its innocence. And I immediately knew that this was the film I had to make.” Aparna Sen
Though Kunal Basu is based abroad, he does not believe in writing about alienation and the search for one’s roots like other Indian writers who live out of India. He prefers the strange to the familiar, and so all his novels thus far have a historical setting. His first novel, The Opium Clerk (2001), is set against the opium trade in the 19th century. The Miniaturist (2003) takes place in the court of the Mughal Emperor Akbar. Racists (2006) is set in the Victorian era and could very well be the first Victorian novel written by a non-Saxon. His new and first collection of short stories, The Japanese Wife, was published by HarperCollins India in January 2008.
“Kunal Basu has not only thrown away the safety net of the novel, but in his short stories, he has also taken the risk of choosing ordinariness over grandeur, the slow train of reflection and memory over the frenetic pace of events. [He] deserves to be thanked for bringing short stories back into reckoning.” Sreyashi Dastidar, in The Telegraph
“The distinctive feature of Basu’s fiction is his appetite for grand connections, for worlds set up almost from scratch. ... [O]ne of the best voices in Indian fiction ....” Chandrahas Choudhury, in Mint
Eric Forbes will be introducing Kunal Basu while Janet Tay will be moderating the session.
Date April 19, 2008 (Saturday)
Venue MPH Bangsar Village II Lot 2F-1 (2nd Floor), Bangsar Village II, No. 2 Jalan Telawi 1, Bangsar Baru, 59100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Phone (603) 2287 3600
Food and refreshments will be served
All lovers of literature are most welcome
Kunal Basu will also be doing a reading at readings@seksan’s at 3.30p.m. the same day. Seksan Design is at No. 67 Jalan Tempinis Satu, Lucky Garden, Bangsar, 59100 Kuala Lumpur
“Racists is a panorama of 19th-century ideas about race, but it is also a sly, penetrating commentary on their contemporary survival, highlighting the cross-fertilisation between social science, politics and philanthropy. Taut, elegant and intelligent, this is one of the most interesting novels so far to chart the history and content of European racism.” Mike Phillips, in The Guardian
“The African setting, by turns achingly beautiful and tinged with a sense of menace, is very well done; while the two small children, incapable of human speech but blessed with low animal cunning come poignantly alive. They are an eloquent embodiment of humanity stripped to its bare essentials.” Julia Flynn, in The Sunday Telegraph
MEET KUNAL BASU IN KUALA LUMPUR
Kunal Basu’s books are available at all major bookstores in Malaysia and Singapore. He will be making appearances on:
Saturday, April 19, 11.00a.m.-12.30p.m.: MPH Breakfast Club, MPH Bangsar Village II, Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur
Saturday, April 19, 3.30p.m.: Readings@Seksan’s, Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur