Kolkata, Feb 10 (IANS) Author Meghna Pant and crime fiction writer Rajat Chaudhuri were in conversation with Niladri Chatterjee for the session ‘Today’s Dystopias’ at the ongoing Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival (AKLF-2024).
Beginning with the official book launch of Meghna Pant’s ‘Man Who Lost India’ by actress Swastika Mukherjee, the actress read excerpts from the book to the audience.
As the moderator asked both writers about their inspirations behind writing their respective novels, Pant pointed out – masochism, curiosity and patriarchy.
Chaudhuri said his climate activism was the ultimate source of his creative vision.
The ‘Man Who Lost India’ writer said: “No female author in India has attempted a war novel before.”
She pointed out how her attempt at writing a war novel was a heretic response to men who argue that women can’t write serious, let alone, war novels.
Rajat Chaudhuri also highlighted how the central character of his book loses his grip on his mental faculties in tandem with our planet, which is replenishing and breaking apart day by day. Speaking on violence in dystopian novels, he pointed out: “At the bottom of dystopian fiction is always happiness vs. freedom, and there is no freedom in dystopia.”
Chaudhuri pointed out that social media was responsible for the desensitisation towards violence.
Pant added: “Society changes from a molecular level, starting from individuals, families and then society. Thus, we should start with ourselves. Both authors also read out parts from their books.”