Tuesday, March 06, 2007

From beneath the rooftops of Paris

A good and very productive writing time in Paris thus far. The gray and rainy weather cleared for the last two days into warm sunshine, lending itself to leisurely strolls from Chateau Rouge to Montmartre, but today the damp returned, which lends itself well to literary endeavors and continuing on with my reading of S. Hussain Zaidi’s account of the 1993 Bombay bomb blasts, Black Friday. The book, incidentally, has recently been made into a Hindi-language film which, after being stalled by the Indian government for three years, has been released to rave reviews in Bombay and elsewhere. Though I alas did not get to see it before leaving India, they say Pavan Malhotra’s performance as Tiger Memon is something to behold.

Speaking of books, some fantastic news reached me from stateside as it has been announced that my good friend, the author Ben Fountain, has won the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Award for his first collection of short stories, Brief Encounters with Che Guevara. I met Ben on the veranda of the Hotel Oloffson in Port-au-Prince many years ago, only to find out that we had a mutual friend, the one-of-a-kind Haitian ophthalmologist and intellectual Dr. Frantz Large, and Ben has proven himself to be a fine writer and an even finer man ever since, so the kudos are very richly deserved.

Meanwhile, another amigo, the Indian journalist and author Dilip D'Souza, continues his picaresque journey across the American south, all of which can be followed in great and amusing detail here.

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