An Interview with Ananya Sarkar

asAnanya Sarkar is a short-story writer, book reviewer, and poet from Kolkata, who teaches at the Kolkata Writers’ Retreat.

Her work has been published in such magazines as The Times of India, Woman’s Era, New Woman, 4indianwoman, Children’s World, KidsWorldFun, Muse India, Induswomanwriting, Conversations Across Borders, Indian Ruminations, Earthen Lamp Journal, Spark and The Madras Mag

Ananya won the first prize in both the Story Writing Contest by the American Library, Kolkata, as thrt of the Fiction Festival 2008 and the Induswomanwriting Poetry Contest, 2012. She was also a prize winner in the LoudReview Review Writing Competition, 2012 and Writers’ HQ Story Competition, 2016. 

Reading books, watching sitcoms and going for long walks are her favourite hobbies.
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Jordan Hartt: Who are your literary influences? 

Ananya Sarkar: I like Charles Dickens, the Brontë Sisters, Mark Twain, and D. H. Lawrence. R.K. Narayan is a veteran Indian writer whom I like too. Among contemporary authors, Chitra Divakaruni, Mohsin Hamid, Jhumpa Lahiri, Khaled Housseini, and Amitav Ghosh are my favourites. I’m also fond of Haruki Murakami.

All of them and many more have influenced me in multiple ways. Be it the focus on the marginalized sections of society by Dickens or the use of descriptive detail by Ghosh or the poignant narration by Divakaruni, I’m inspired by all of them. I find it fascinating how they breathe life into the pages of their books. Some of the characters such as Mariam in Housseini’s “A Thousand Splendid Suns” and Gogol in Lahiri’s “The Namesake” will always be close to my heart.

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