The ways they are like us all

That Existential Leap: a crime story, was in production last year when Lionel Shriver caused a stir by launching a scathing attack at the Brisbane Writers Festival on the concept of cultural appropriation. In particular, she rejected the idea that writers should not write about characters from backgrounds different from their own, that it is exploitative, for example, for a white, male, British author to write from the point of view of a 14-year-old Nigerian girl. As a white, male, British author who wrote much of That Existential Leap from the point of view of a young American woman of Indian origin, I had to agree with Shriver. Continue reading “The ways they are like us all”

Rustom: populism and prejudice in the age of ‘post-truth’ politics

Last year’s Bollywood hit film Rustom was just the latest fictionalised retelling of the story of Indian Navy Commander KM Nanavati. In 1959, Nanavati shot his wife’s lover dead, only to be found not guilty by a jury that seemed convinced not so much of his innocence as his righteousness. Continue reading “Rustom: populism and prejudice in the age of ‘post-truth’ politics”