Friday, April 29, 2016

I have been a fan of Easterine Kire’s When the River Sleeps well before it won the 2015 Hindu Literature Prize. The accomplished storytelling and the minimalist charm really impressed me. For me, this book does for Nagaland what Chinua Achebe did for Nigeria. What’s more, I have a signed copy.

Recently, I did an email interview with Kire for Sakal Times. I had just few short questions. She, however, answered in detail and with such brilliance! I could not fit the word count in the newspaper interview, and I did not want to waste these important observations.

Finally, I approached the web outlet Raiot, and they graciously accepted to run the complete interview.


Q: With When the River Sleeps receiving mainstream recognition, more readers will try and read your earlier works. What do you think your readers should expect?
A: In the body of my work, new readers will find a chronological presentation of the main aspects of Angami Naga life from the end of the nineteenth century to the present. I have written novels and novellas that cover the major points of oral history in Naga society. My sources were oral narrators, and I have also done library research of the areas that my books deal with. New readers will meet characters that are probably like themselves and in like situations, or like their mothers’ generation, struggling to get educated so they can get a job; they will meet characters that fall in love, (both in and out of wartime) and lose their loved ones and learn to live life after loss. I call these ‘peoplestories’ because they are the stories of real people. New readers will meet these characters in all my works. They will also see glimpses of the spirit world which is so much a part of the life of my community.

Read the complete interview at Raiot: Challenging the Consensus

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