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Anjum Hasan  [ India ]

Biography

ldw.Hasan.portrait.JPG
© Raghav Shreyas

Guest 2010.

Bibliography

Street on the Hill

Sahitya Akademi

Neu-Delhi, 2006

Lunatic in my Head

Zubaan-Penguin

Neu-Delhi, 2007

60 Indian Poets

Hrsg. von Jeet Thayil

Penguin India

Neu-Delhi, 2008

Neti, Neti

India Ink Roli

Neu-Delhi, 2009

The Indian poet and writer Anjum Hasan was born in 1972 in Shillong, Meghalaya, where she also studied Philosophy at the North-Eastern Hill University. She moved to Bangalore at the age of 26. This move, as well as the contrast between life in a small Indian town and in a big city, proved to have a great influence on her literary work.

Her poetry début came in 2006 with »Street on the Hill«. Her poems sensitively probe bourgeois life in a small Indian town, referring to childhood observations, memories and secrets, introducing a parade of the town's inhabitants before fleeing from the »Museum of the past« to a joyful festival of travel, love and sensuality.

In 2006 Hasan published her first novel, »Lunatic in my Head«, which made it on to the shortlist of one of India's most prestigious literary prizes, the Crossword Award. The novel is set in Shillong in the 1990s. It is once again a poetic and humorous portrait of a small town which is undergoing great changes, as well as of three of the townspeople trying to break away from their small town fate. In her second novel, »Neti, Neti« (2009), Hasan examines her own move away from a small town: »I felt doomed for a little while because after the excitement of the city, you can no longer go back and re-enter the boredom of the small town, and yet you miss it in a completely irrational way.« The novel shows the fate of a young woman in an Indian metropolis: the 25-year-old Sophie moves from Shillong to Bangalore in search of freedom, but after a while she feels increasingly alienated in the money-driven city. When she travels back to her home town, she learns that even there everything is being undertaken to entice international firms to invest there, and that the people there have adopted the language of money, leaving Sophie feeling out of place wherever she is. »Neti, Neti« was on the longlist for the Man Asia Literary Prize.

Anjum Hasan has also published short prose texts, poetry, travel writing and literary essays in Indian and international periodicals, and she also works as an editor for The Caravan magazine. Her poems and short stories have been included in many important anthologies of Indian poetry and short fiction. Anjum Hasan lives in Bangalore.

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