We are asking quick questions of writers and thinkers coming to the WORD Christchurch Festival 2018 (Wednesday 29 August to Sunday 2 September).
Rajorshi Chakraborti is an Indian-born novelist, essayist and short story writer. He has lived in India, Canada, England and Scotland, where he lectured in English literature and creative writing at the University of Edinburgh. He now lives in Wellington.
What are you looking forward to doing in Christchurch?
Meeting visitors to the festival and exploring as much of the city centre on foot as I can in between the fantastic line-up of events at WORD. Oh, and also visiting Christchurch Art Gallery.
What do you think about libraries?
My gratitude for them is boundless. Life would truly be unimaginable without libraries for our family. But also increasingly, I value so much the wider ethos of a society that maintains public libraries as well-funded, free-to-use, open, welcoming spaces.
What would be your desert island book?
An unabridged edition of the Indian epic, The Mahabharata, simply because it is an ocean of stories, containing within it endless human, and divine (!), complexity and variability. It is said of the Mahabharata "What is here is elsewhere. What is not here is nowhere else."
Share a surprising fact about yourself.
That the house we live in in Wellington is the roof under which I have spent the longest time of any in my life. I have lived in this house, and indeed in NZ, for 8 years now. The previous record was 5 years and 4 months, held by my first childhood home in Calcutta, India. In between, I kept on moving.
Rajorshi Chakraborti's sessions at WORD Christchurch Festival 2018
Starry, starry night Friday 31 August 8pm
The Politics of Fiction Saturday 1 September 4pm