Some of us write to be heard, while the rest write to be able to imagine. This group of authors belong to the latter. With a take on the appalling rape crimes that are rising across the globe, 20 authors come together with an idea to imagine the impossible. Eat the Sky, Drink the Ocean is one such book which brings together authors from India and Australia to share their take and imagine a feminine approach to the world. Kirsty Murray, Payal Dhar, Isobelle Carmody and Samhita Arni, were in the city for the launch and they share their experiences, which have had a profound impact on their lives.
With a title that stands testimony to conquer the impossibilities, the idea about coming up with such a book began in 2012. Kirsty Murray shares that the horrific Delhi rape incident and a similar one that happened in Melbourne, took Anita and Kirsty to come up with a book. “I travelled across India for 3,500 kms as part of a book tour and was fascinated by Indian literature. It was during one such conversation with Anita, that we began sharing parallel stories about rape and murder that we realised how stories travelled beyond boundaries,” explains Kirsty, one of the editors. Thus began their incredible journey to co-create a partnership to get a group of authors to ‘break old rules and give rise a new wave in feminist literature.’ With illustrations and stories built around them, the whole book is an insightful speculative fiction, about cyborgs and an alternative future. “The best part about collaborative work is that it brings two different ideas to the table. My favourite is Swallow the Moon where the writer had the thought about dark fiction while the illustration fashioned the story to a tale of hope,” explains Payal Dhar, one of the editors.
Ask about how the journey has been so far, Isobelle Carmody one of the contributors says, “It was an enriching experience to be able to get a whole different perspective about India and its literature.”
Her contribution titled The Runners, written by two authors who were living in different cities at the time of the book about which she says, “I was in Prague while my Indian counterpart was living in California due to various reasons, but we were able to relate to our issues and talk about it.”
Meanwhile Samhita Arni, the author from Bengaluru shares that the initial stages of the literature was about finding common ground, “As I had a multi-cultural upbringing myself, it was not as challenging as it seemed. It was quite remarkable as to how we could discuss issues and share our interests,” adding to which she says, if ever given a choice to reimagine a world for women, “I would want to change gender imbalance, because that is the root cause of a lot of issues like sexual abuse and violence against women that is prevalent in the society.”