By Admin

"I am an omnivore when it comes to reading." A Q&A with Somak Ghoshal

27 August, 2023
A great book ages with you wisely, gracefully, like a trusty old friend.

#MeetTheJury - books, reading genres, prizes, get to know more in this conversation with Jury member Somak Ghoshal

What is the kind of literature that you are generally drawn to when you are not reading for the Prize?

I am an omnivore when it comes to reading, but I mostly gravitate towards fiction, reportage, memoirs and poetry. I usually don't follow trends and tend to read eclectically. If I like a writer, I try to get my hands on all of their books, as I recently did with Annie Ernaux. 

2.Of course everyone brings in their own perspective when reading, do you have any personal filters when reading? Rather what according to you makes a book worthy of being revisited, time and again? 

Strong characters, powerful storytelling, and themes that resonate with readers beyond the time, place, and milieu in which the book was written. Every other year, I try to reread some of my favorite writers, and each time I go back to them, I discover something new--about myself, the way I look at the world, and interact with people. A great book ages with you wisely, gracefully, like a trusty old friend.

3. Do you think Prizes impact our socio-cultural milieu? Why do you think they matter?

In the world today, where there is an overload of noise, clutter and distractions, prizes shine the spotlight on books that deserve to travel far and wide. Prizes matter because they save books from being lost in the din and clamour of life, they connect authors to readers, and they enrich and expand the community of bibliophiles. As the number of well-curated bookstores dwindles, and discovering new voices online is left to the whims of algorithms, prizes can help spark conversations and bring together a community invested in the pleasures of reading.