Vikram Chan­dra: Trans­lat­ing to Television

India Today - - LEISURE - —with Ja­son Over­dorf

Q: The Jaipur Lit­er­a­ture Fes­ti­val now has art, mu­sic, hand­i­crafts, you name it. Has the tamasha be­gun to eclipse the au­thors?

A: I no­ticed that some peo­ple have been writ­ing jaun­diced crit­i­cisms along those lines. But I think it adds. It’s like a big mela. You could feel [the fo­cus on lit­er­a­ture] is be­ing di­luted but for me it adds to the fun. Q: Net­flix is work­ing on a se­ries based on your novel, Sa­cred Games. What’s it like watch­ing type turn into TV?

A: I wanted to let go. When you’re trans­lat­ing from one medium to another it’s as dif­fi­cult as trans­lat­ing from one lan­guage to another, and I’m too close to the book to try to see it in new ways. [As an executive pro­ducer] most of my job is to shut up and get out of the way. Q: Are you still ex­cited about so-called “In­dian writ­ing in English”?

A: Sud­denly in the last 10 years you’ve seen a surge of chick lit and thrillers and es­pe­cially all this mytho­log­i­cal fic­tion. It’s an in­ter­est­ing thing to think about how the new bour­geoisie is in­ves­ti­gat­ing it­self cul­tur­ally in this new fic­tion—es­pe­cially the rewrit­ing of all these mytho­log­i­cal char­ac­ters.

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