Trust Me, I'm a Storyteller

August 2, 2014

Only Connect: Short fiction about Technology and Us, Rupa Publications India Edition

Rupa – The House of Best sellers in India

releases

Only Connect: short fiction about Technology and Us

Congratulations to all of our authors!

 Cover courtesy Rupa
Cover design and photography by Pallavi Agarwala

 

ONLY CONNECT!: SHORT FICTION ABOUT TECHNOLOGY AND US

FROM THE INDIAN SUBCONTINENT AND AUSTRALIA

 

by Editors: Meenakshi Bharat & Sharon Rundle

SHARON and Meenakshi in Khazuraho 4(2)

Endorsement on back cover by Tabish Khair.

“We live in a world where battles are fought in cyberspace, relationships are forged through voice-over-IP, and declarations of love are made through speedy text messages. Pertinently then, the stories in Only Connect weigh the deep impact of technology on our lives, relationships, and the ways in which we perceive each other and ourselves.

While Meenakshi Bharat’s ‘B Wid U Soon’ shows how, despite the distance between them, technology helps a couple share the birth of their baby, Janhavi Acharekar’s ‘Sneha, 25’ highlights the hoax of digital ties as a young girl is conned by a cyber-lover. The sinister face of technology is alarmingly demonstrated by Malik Sajad’s graphic tale, ‘Facebooked’, Chandani Lokugé’s ‘Trial by Media’, and Kiran Nagarkar’s ‘The Race for Arms’. Technology changes the language we speak, as dramatized in Neelum Saran Gour’s ‘A Software Sonata’. It colours our perception of lived experience, as shown by Sharon Rundle in ‘Fugue for Guinea Pigs’. And, in fact, technology even irrevocably changes the way we connect with art as Yasmine Gooneratne describes in ‘Barry Meets His Muse’. 

A collection of twenty riveting stories, Only Connect traces this brave new world we have come to inherit.”

Janhavi Acharekar, Manisha Jolie Amin, Sunil Badami, Meenakshi Bharat, Devika Brendon, Susanne Gervay, Roanna Gonsalves, Yasmine Gooneratne, Anita Heiss, Bem Le Hunte, Anu Kumar, Chandani Lokugé, Julia Mackay-Koelen, Sophie Masson, Kiran Nagarkar, Felicity Pulman, Sharon Rundle, Malik Sajad, Sujata Sankranti, Neelum Saran Gourr, Annie Zaidi

Meenakshi Bharat, University of Delhi, is a writer, translator, reviewer and critic. Some of her published books are: The Ultimate Colony: The Child in Postcolonial Fiction; Rushdie the Novelist; and two volumes of Indo-Australian short fiction entitled Fear Factor: Terror Incognito and Alien Shores: Tales of Refugees and Asylum Seekers.

Sharon Rundle is Chair of the University of Technology Sydney Writers’ Alumni; has served on the Board of Directors of the NSW Writers’ Centre; and is a founding member of Asia Pacific Writers and Translators. She coedited Alien Shores and Fear Factor.

http://www.rupapublications.co.in/books/only-connect-short-fiction-about-technology-and-us-indian-subcontinent-and-australia

“Only Connect!” Reviews in:

My City Book Reviews, New Delhi, Saturday Nov 1, 2014

OnlyConnectReviewHT

Indian Link

Sydney Morning Herald

Journal of Postcolonial Writing

UTS Newsroom review of Only Connect,

Sunday Guardian Indian Edition

Telegraph India

Two Circles

Between The Lines Book Review

A mention of “Only Connect!” in The Hindu 

and Business Standard

Sydney Launch of “Only Connect!” was covered by Paul McKenzie at the Indian Telegraph, May 2014, Page 36.

Australian edition of Only Connect: Short fiction about Technology and Us  (April, 2014) by Brass Monkey Books

AuthorsOnlyConnectlaunch_thumb.jpg

 Our previous anthologies are: Alien Shores

Alien Shores launch with slide show.

and Fear Factor Terror Incognito

http://roundtablewriting.com/FFREVIEWS.htm

More at Roundtablewriting.com

member-icon-sml.jpg

April 22, 2014

Only Connect: Short fiction about Technology and Us

Only Connect: Short fiction about Technology and Us from Australia and the Indian Subcontinent

has just been released and is in book shops now!

oc full cover final2

Thank you to all our authors from Australia and the Indian subcontinent who have contributed to this exciting volume of stories that include crime, mystery, murder, deceit, missed connections, relationships, romance and humour. Truly a wide range of responses to our theme of ‘technology and us’.

 

Published by Brass Monkey Books and available from book shops including Dymocks Melbourne, Readings, Dymocks Erina Fair Central Coast, UTS Co op Bookshop and  Lesley McKay Woollahra (who provided books for the launch), among others.

 Kerry Goldsworthy reviews Only Connect in the Sydney Morning Herald, Spectrum Books, In Short Fiction page.

Salma Shah reviews Only Connect in Indian Link, June 2014.

The launch held at The Hughenden Boutique Hotel in Woollahra on March 31

It was lovely to see so many of our authors at the launch. Thanks to Felicity Pulman, Julia Mackay-Koelen, Bem Le Hunte, Manisha Jolie Amin, Devika Brendon, Susanne Gervay, Roanna Gonsalves and our publisher Kabita Dhara at Brass Monkey Books for joining us in celebrating the release of our book of stories. Many thanks to our authors from the Subcontinent who sent best wishes and promises to be at the launch in spirit if not in body.

My sincere and heartfelt thanks to Co-Editor, Meenakshi Bharat, who is the better half of our editing partnership and who longed to be with us in person but this time it was not to be. Meenakshi now has all the photos and a sound recording from the launch.

 

Authors Only Connect launch

Sunil Badami, author and ABC radio presenter, bon vivant, raconteur, flaneur, did us the great honour of launching the book with a rousing and humorous speech that had us all spellbound. Sunil generously read from the stories of our contributing authors as he spoke about the significance of Only Connect. Sunil’s story ‘Leftovers’ is one of the highlights of the volume. While it may be unusual for one of the contributing authors to launch the book, we really could think of no-one better than Sunil.

 

Sharon Sunil Kabita

Sharon with Sunil Badami and Kabita Dhara

After enjoying Sunil’s speech and toasting to the success of Only Connect: short fiction about Technology and Us, we continued to party and celebrate its release. I know I had a marvellous time chatting to the authors, publisher and guests.

View Launch of Only Connect Short fiction about Technology and Us at the Hughenden Hotel
View Full Album

My heartfelt thanks to all at the Hughenden Hotel for sponsoring the launch and thanks especially to Jamie and to Ryan Power who gave so generously of their time to set it all up; and to Deidre Stein who designed the poster, invitations and champagne vouchers for our launch. All the Hughenden staff went out of their way to take care of guests who attended the launch and those who stayed at the hotel for the weekend. We all noticed and appreciated it. And last but not least thanks to Vincent’s Bar and Restaurant for providing the champagne and for welcoming our guests who booked for lunch.

 

SBS Hindi Kumud Merani interviews Meenakshi Bharat and Sharon Rundle about Only Connect: Short Fiction about Technology and Us.

For more information, please see the Brass Monkey Books Press Release:

Only Connect Press_Release with booksellers

December 22, 2013

Compliments of the Season

Wishing everyone a Merry Yuletide and a safe and happy holiday.

20131216_224204

It’s been a busy year with several highlights, including but not limited to:

  • Graham’s book in production for release in 2014;

  • Only Connect: tales of Technology and Us from Australia and the Indian subcontinent’ ,  which I co-edited with Meenakshi Bharat, due for release in 2014 – it has intrigue, suspense, romance and humour – stories from some of the best emerging and established authors on both continents;

  • Gondwanalandings at the Victorian State Library;

  • The UTS Postgraduate Conference; mindfulness-research-program-2013

  • Book launches and events – fabulous books were launched this year, some have appeared on this blog – including: Dancing to the Flute (Manisha Jolie Amin), After Love (Subhash Jaireth), Poetic Connections: Australia and India (ed Tamaso Lonsdale),  Letter to George Clooney (Debra Adelaide), A Country Too Far (Ed. Rosie Scott & Tom Keneally) and Susanne Gervay’s Gracie and Josh and  ‘I Am Jack’ translations; Meenakshi Bharat A House for Mr Biswas: Critical Perspectives;

  • Theatre events, including opening nights at ‘Rapture Blister Burn’ at The Ensemble and ‘The First Garden: Olive Pink’ at the Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens; ‘Short & Sweet’ at Newtown and Nautanki Theatre.

  • The UTS Writers’ Alumni continuing to expand and our fabulous team at Writers Connect;

  • Interviewing authors, publishers and reviewers for my research. Many thanks to all who participated and contributed their views and valuable insights;

  • Catching up with friends when in Sydney—including Susanne Gervay, Wendy Ashton, Libby Sommer, Devaki Monani, Devika Brendon, Sunil Badami, Louise Porebski, Shashi Sharma, Manisha Amin, Roanna Gonsalves, (when she is in Sydney), Chris and Natasha Raja, Ali Atkinson-Philips (when they are in Sydney) and all at the South Asian-Australian Writers’ Network (SAAWN).

I’m now eagerly anticipating a Merry Yuletide with my family who I don’t see nearly often enough. After that I’m looking forward to the New Year with more book releases; conferences, cultural programmes and keynote series  (including Kerala & Delhi); and continuing my research at UTS.

Watch this blog for the call out for stories for the fourth Indo-Australian anthology sometime in 2014.

Cheers,

Sharon

November 27, 2012

Dancing to the Flute

Dancing to the Flute

Manisha Jolie Amin

Allen & Unwin 2012

The power of music to reach people is never far from the surface of Dancing to the Flute. The brilliantly conceived structure parallels the stages of the Indian raga. The rhythm and pattern follow those of the raga as the narrative unfolds. The poetic language transforms the commonplace as the reader travels along with Kalu, the protagonist.

Dancing to the Flute has the magic and pathos of myth and enchantment, yet the human condition and the transformative quality of music are always at its centre. The yearning, the secret dreams and the shared bonds of those who are deeply connected by the ties that bind them are the catalyst for the metaphysical effects of Kalu’s flute. The world of Kalu and those with whom he comes in contact,  Vaid, Guruji, Bal, Ganga ba, Malti, Martin, Ashwin and others who inhabit the villages, is keenly wrought and ever evocative.

At all times, the reader is there at the centre of Kalu’s world, engaged by his quirky irrepressible nature, moved by his grief, captivated by his inquiring mind and gift for making music. As Kalu grows older and wiser, he discovers the incandescent and a higher purpose to this extraordinary gift. Just as Guruji discovers the true gift he has in his apprentice. As Kalu’s world expands, he learns that no matter how difficult life is, there is no going back – one can only go forward.

Just as the future appears Inevitable, however, the narrative twists and turns to another possibility.

Dancing to the Flute is an original and fine literary work, Amin is undoubtedly a skilled storyteller—there are stories within stories—and I found myself irresistibly drawn in and transported to Hastinapore, Guruji’s house and land on the way to Tanakpur, Ahmedabad and other villages of Gujurat, India and on to London.

Amin’s novel is right up there with the best I’ve read this year.

Manisha Jolie Amin

a raga is the projection of the artist’s inner spirit, a manifestation of his most profound sentiments and sensibilities brought forth through tones and melodies. The musician must breathe life into each raga as he unfolds and expands it … each note pulsates with life and the raga becomes vibrant and incandescent.” Ravi Shankar.

 Reviews:

UTS

Indian Herald

Good Reads

Book Coasters

September 10, 2012

Australia-India Literatures International Forum a resounding success!

The Australia-India Literatures International Forum held at the State Library of NSW from 4 – 6 September, as promised, generated ‘lively discussions from passionate speakers’.

AILIF was officially opened by the Consul-General of India in Sydney, Mr Arun Kumar Goel and it brought together readers, writers, translators, editors, agents and publishers from Australia and the Indian subcontinent.

Mahmood Farooqui skilfully demonstrated Dastangoi, the revival of the art of telling Dastans or epic stories of adventure, magic and warfare by reciting or reading aloud. Sudesh Mishra and Vijay Mishra explored the creativity of Indians who were brought to sugar cane plantations in Fiji as indentured labour in the late nineteenth-century. Prabodh Parikh presented Art and the Writer: Rabindranath Tagore’s 2000 paintings.

Seven panels over the three days discussed motivation to write; the struggle against injustice and inequality; the importance of local languages and dialects; alienation from land, animals and tradition; storytelling as protest; the important role that writers have in telling the truth; the power of myth and legend in writing and storytelling. Mamang Dai, Inez Baranay, Subhash Jaireth, Girish Karnad, Malcolm Knox, Manisha Jolie Amin, Roanna Gonsalves, Bem Le Hunte, Michelle de Kretser, Suneeta Peres da Costa, N S Madhavan, Uday Prakash, Christopher Raja, Aashish Kaul and Kunal Sharma spoke about crossing borders, a sense of place, dislocation, the home of the imagination, place as a construct, ‘fossilised memory’, ‘rearranged identity’, ‘languages as legitimisation’ and ‘what is Indian anyway’?

Highlights included: gut-wrenching poems by Ali Cobby Eckermann, from her collection little bit long time, which left the audience stunned and lingered on in the mind. Alexis Wright bringing to our attention the importance of ancient lore, the voice of the Elders, temporal rather than linear stories, before reading from Carpentaria. Gogu Shyamala, Dalit feminist and Telangana activist. C S Lakshmi (Ambai), feminist and activist, who revealed her take on the world and her experiences with wit and humour. All of which helped to create a deeper understanding of the challenges regularly encountered.

C S Lakshmi (Ambai) and Gogu Shyamala in Sydney

Award winning poets Judith Beveridge, Michelle Cahill, Kynpham Sing Nongkynrih and Prabodh Parikh spoke about the poetic imagination and treated the audience to their strong and subversive poems.

The final panel session of editors, translators and publishers explained the practical hurdles of publishing books in regional languages and in finding skilled translators; as well as the responsibility of editing and publishing stories in localised variations of english in literature. Kabita Dhara, publisher at Brass Monkey Books Australia, Ivor Indyk from Giramondo Press, Mita Kapur author and CEO of Siyahi, R Sivapriya Managing Editor of Translations and Classics Penguin Books India and Sharon Rundle who has co-edited Indo-Australian books for Picador (Australia, India) and Brass Monkey Books emphasised the importance of publishing transnational writing and translations.

The State Library NSW book shop stocked books by the various speakers, including ‘Alien Shores’ and ‘Fear Factor Terror Incognito’. It was quite a thrill to see them on display there.

“Alien Shores” and “Fear Factor Terror Incognito” in the State Library NSW book shop!

Huge congratulations to the organisers, Mridula Nath Chakraborty and Anthony Uhlmann Director of the University of Western Sydney Writing and research Centre; and the State Library of NSW, for this essential and welcome initiative.

AILIF was supported by the Australian Government through the Australia-India Council and the Australia Council; Copyright Agency Ltd Cultural Fund; Australia India Institute; State Library of NSW; The Taj Foundation.

A full report is published in the current issue of The Indian Herald.

August 22, 2012

Australia India Literatures International Forum September 2012

ALIF Program 2012

Australia-India Literatures International Forum

4th-6th September 2012

State Library of New South Wales

Metcalfe Auditorium.

(entrance via Macquarie Street)

Sydney

© Image shown above Copyright owned by Wikicommons

 

Don’t miss this very special event! This exciting forum will generate lively discussions from passionate speakers. An event of such potential and ambition has not been undertaken in this region before.

The Australia-India Literatures International Forum brings together writers from the

regional literatures of India with indigenous and multicultural writers of Australia.

The Forum will take the form of seven panel sessions and three special

presentations, which are all open to the public to attend.

 

Each panel comprises Australian and Indian delegates, who will make a short presentation each, followed by audience discussion moderated by the Chair.

 

The three special sessions explore the connection of writing

with performance, art and indenture.

Tuesday 4th September

4 pm: Special Presentation:

Dastangoi.

Mahmood Farooqui

The word Dastangoi refers to the art of storytelling; it is a compound of two Persian words Dastan and goi that means to tell a story.

 

Wednesday 5th September

12 noon: Special Presentation:

Travelling languages/evolving cultures across the Pacific Ocean.

Sudesh Mishra and Vijay Mishra

In the late nineteenth-century, Indians were brought to Fiji as indentured labour to work on sugar cane plantations. This

free-flowing conversation explores the subject of indenture/girmitiya and creativity.

4:30 pm: Special Presentation:

Art and the Writer.

Prabodh Parikh:

Rabindranath Tagore’s 2000 paintings

The first non-European Nobel Laureate, Rabindranath Tagore, was also a self-taught artist who started painting at age 67.

Within 15 years, Tagore had completed over 3000 paintings, which have since become part of India’s national treasure.

Forum Panellists include: Alexis Wright, Sharan Kumar Limbale, Gogu Shyamala, Ali Cobby Eckermann, Inez Baranay, Mamang Dai, Bem le Hunte, C S Lakshmi (Ambai), Subhash Jaireth, Nicholas Jose, Girish Karnad, Malcolm Knox, Suneeta Peres da Costa, Michelle de Kretser, N S Madhavan, Uday Prakash, Manisha Jolie Amin, Roanna Gonsalves, Aashish Kaul, Chris Raja and Kunal Sharma, Kabita Dhara, Ivor Indyk, Mita Kapur, R Sivapriya and Sharon Rundle.

 Panel Chairs: Peter Minter, Christopher Cyrill, Vijay Mishra, Paul Sharrad,  Mita Kapur, Pam Newton, Ivor Indyk, Michael Wilding and R Sivapriya.

 Speakers:  Mridula Nath Chakraborty, Anthony Uhlmann Director Writing & Society Research Centre, University of Western Sydney

 

For full program and information on the participating writers,

see our website: http://www.uws.edu.au/india

To purchase tickets to attend any of the Australia-India Literatures

International Forum public events, please go to:

http://www.sl.nsw.gov.au/events/events_talks/index.html

or contact the State Library of NSW Bookings line: (02) 9273 1770

or Email: bookings@sl.nsw.gov.au

I look forward to seeing you there,

Sharon

April 14, 2012

Dancing to the Flute

Manisha Jolie Amin

Yet another UTS alumna has achieved success in the world of fiction. Allen & Unwin have just released  Dancing to the Flute, by Manisha Jolie Amin. It’s in the bookshops now. I’ve already ordered my copy from the Co-op Bookshop.

Abandoned as a young child, Kalu, a cheeky street kid, has against all odds carved out a life for himself in rural India. In the quiet village of Hastinapore, Kalu makes friends: Bal, the solitary buffalo boy, and Malti, a gentle servant girl, who, with her mistress, Ganga Ba, has watched out for Kalu from the first day.

 Perched high in the branches of a banyan tree, Kalu chooses a leaf, rolls it tightly and, doing what he’s done for as long as he can remember, blows through it. His pure simple notes dance through the air attracting a travelling healer whose interest will change Kalu’s life forever, setting him on a path he would never have dreamed possible, testing his self-belief and his friendships.

With all the energy and colour of India and its people, Dancing to the Flute is a magical, heart-warming story of this community’s joys and sorrows, the nature of friendship and the astonishing transformative powers of music.


Manisha Jolie Amin was born in Kenya and moved to Australia with her family when she was five. Sydney is her home, although she travels frequently to both India and England to visit family. Manisha lives with her husband, son and cat. When not writing, she works for a children’s welfare charity. In 2011 Manisha received a PhD from the University of Technology, Sydney. Dancing to the Flute is her first novel. More…

Manisha Jolie Amin Blog:

Dancing to the Flute … Description and Reviews

Buy from the Co-op Bookshop and receive your member discount.

Paperback – AUD $29.99 inc. GST

ISBN: 9781742378572
Publisher: ALLEN & UNWIN

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: