“With 2019 on the verge of its end, a decade is coming to a close. Whether the political upheavals, social initiatives or economic ups and downs, everything adds to what the decade meant for us. What better way to look at the year going by, than through the lens of literature? Since women writers flourished this year, churning out best-sellers and winning major literary prizes SheThePeople.TV reached out for recommendations for books written by women in 2019 through Facebook and Twitter.” Click on image for full list!
“…Writing gives me joy like nothing other than my little family can. This year, I have been fortunate to have worked on two projects that have been a thrill – my book of short stories ‘Strange’ which is out now, and my opera for the Welsh National Opera which goes on tour in Britain in 2020. Both completely different, both challenging in their own way, and a complete delight to me, both in their fashioning and in the final product.
In the context of the opera, writing has also enabled me to score a first and pave the way for others after me. With the writing of this opera, I am reliably informed, I became the first and only South Asian woman writer to have written a libretto for a major international opera house, and the central characters in my opera will be the first modern Indian characters to grace the international operatic stage. Writing, therefore, has allowed me to strike a necessary blow for diversity and equal opportunities in the arts!
But writing is as much about the sheer joy of it. I have had so much fun writing the short stories in ‘Strange’, letting loose with my imagination, my arsenal of words, and mischievously twisted ideas, and then taking a chisel to them in the end to hone it to as near-perfection as I can, that I hope my enjoyment shines through these stories and warms the reader. Because that too is why I write – to share my pleasure in our weird and wonderful world.”
(Please click on pic to read the rest – another brief paragraph!)
“Shreya Sen-Handley’s latest book, Strange Stories, a book of 13 short stories was launched in Kolkata a couple of months ago at Starmark. It follows her first book, Memoirs of My Body, released in 2017. Shreya is now engaged in opera writing in partnership with the Welsh National Opera that will tour the UK in 2020. Clearly, the writer, originally from Kolkata and now living in the UK is on a roll. Her ability to write in such diverse genres with such confidence and finesse is quite remarkable.
Memoirs of My Body was a bold book where Shreya spoke of her sexuality, the wanted and unwanted attention she received, with brutal honesty; Strange, while not autobiographical, is as bold in the range of often unsettling stories she tells with audacity. Shreya does not shrink from the seamier side of life and treats her often very dark characters with subtlety and sensitivity.
Each story, some set in India or among the Indian community in England, is pithy and in the short span of the telling takes the reader through many unexpected twists and turns in the plots that left me unsettled, not knowing where the tales would end…”
Please click on image for the rest of this original, astute review by author Jael Silliman!
Please hop on over to Wattpad (@wattpadindia on Twitter and Instagram) to share your own spooky/mindboggling/gobsmacking/or just plain odd anecdote, and win a copy of ‘Strange’ and other book related merchandise. Competition open till 28th November, 2019.
‘Strange’ makes another appearance on British media. This time on popular local TV station Notts TV’s tea-time show Ey Up on November 12, where both my books, the recently released ‘Strange’ and the award-winning ‘Memoirs of My Body’ published in 2017, have received a very warm reception and lots of air time.
From the start to the 39th minute, with ‘Strange’ on from around the 32nd…https://nottstv.com/…/ey-up-notts-tuesday-12th-november/
Juanita MacMahon, award-winning audiobook voice of Sarah Waters, Val McDermid, and more, theatre personality and writer, on ‘Strange’ for the Nottingham Post:
“Strange is an exquisite raft of short stories, celebrating and bringing us an original twist to the tradition of bedtime /fireside story telling. The stories leap off the page; creating vivid, colourful encounters. A cluster of genres, a feast of cultural worlds, Shreya Sen-Handley invites us into the delightfully unexpected. After each story we are left strangely affected and more human than before.”
(How do you top a quote like that? You just get into your jimjams and slippers and retire for the night)