At the Writers of India festival in Paris, the novelist Kiran Desai spoke to us about the progress of her next book, whose working title is The Loneliness of Sunny and Sonia. Her last was the novel Inheritance of Loss, published in 2006.
The book is about the “loneliness of the globalised world,” Desai said, and “tries to address the question of whether affection, love—not merely romantic, but of all kinds—needs a location, whether it needs a place, and a sense of identity.” The movements of individuals across the world causes a sense of destabilisation, where “your sense of self becomes very wobbly,” she said, adding that the reverse also happens, where people who are left behind can be equally destabilised.
“I now have a very messy first draft,” Desai said. “So I'm not quite sure where it'll go.”
In this video interview, we ask her some further questions about the manuscript and her writing process.
Sukruti Anah Staneley is an assistant photo editor at The Caravan.