Tuesday, Oct 04, 2022
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litfest

A Date With Mr TBA

New Yorker bash: Jhumpa shares the stage with ol' man Rushdie

A Date With Mr TBA
T.Narayan and Swapan Nayak
A Date With Mr TBA
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

The magazine's Pulitzer-winning discovery, Jhumpa Lahiri, was slated to read at one of Friday's Fiction Night events (on May 18) with another writer—"To Be Announced". Last year's tba, a closely-guarded secret, was paired with hot, twentysomething British novelist Zadie Smith of the bestselling White Teeth fame. The mystery guest turned out to be Salman Rushdie, emerging happily from hiding. This year, however, The New Yorker's initial coy notice was soon overtaken by a programme boldly listing Rushdie as the second reader.

The audience of approximately 600 was welcomed by Bill Buford, The New Yorker's fiction editor who, as former editor of Britain's offbeat literary magazine Granta, had first published Rushdie 20 years ago, when Midnight's Children came out. "The New Yorker is devoted to serious, indepth writing and the lunatic people who are prepared not to watch television but actually read that stuff," he said. "We get 1,000-2,000 unsolicited manuscripts a week, and my job—the best in publishing—is to sit around reading made-up stories. What excites us about an unknown writer is the mysterious thing called 'voice', it's like a writer's fingerprint, her dna. That's what excited us about Jhumpa Lahiri."

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