Tanushree Podder is the author of Solo in Singapore, her fifth novel. She is planning to start work on her next novel.
Why do you write?
Writing is my addiction. It could be anything — a travel story, blog or a book — but I have to write a few paragraphs. Playing around with words brings me pleasure. I write because it is oxygen to me.
Do you have a writing schedule?
I am not a very disciplined writer and have no fixed targets or schedule. I write whenever I can.
Coffee/tea/cigarettes — numbers please — while you are writing…
I am not much of a coffee or tea person.
Ever struggled with writer’s block?
Oh yes, quite frequently. It is not uncommon for me to wail “I don’t think I can ever write again” to whoever is willing to lend me a sympathetic ear.
Best piece of advice you’ve ever got?
“This too shall pass.” This advice, given by my mother, helps me overcome every difficulty in life.
Do you keep a diary?
Once upon a time, I did. Not anymore.
Describe your favourite writing space.
My favourite writing space is near a window, which overlooks a garden. A good view helps me think.
Who are your favourite authors?
P.G. Wodehouse is a constant favourite, but I also like books by George Orwell, Emily Bronte, Jane Austen and Harper Lee. Saki and O. Henry’s short stories are some of my favourites.
Which book/author should be banned on grounds of bad taste?
I don’t think any book or author should be banned. Readers should have the right to choose between good or bad books and authors. It is their prerogative.
Which is the most under-rated book?
A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving. It is a beautiful and sensitive book about two friends who, despite physical, social, cultural and religious differences, form an enduring relationship. The strong narrative and characters make it a fabulous book.
Which are your favourite children’s books?
There are many. I would list Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, Little Women by Louisa May Alcott and Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe among my favourites.
Which classics do you want to read?
I intend to read The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky and Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy, in the next few months.
Your favourite literary character.
Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler from Gone With the Wind.
Which is the funniest book you have read?
All P.G. Wodehouse books on Lord Emsworth and Blanding Castle.
Which is the most erotic book you have read?
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov.