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Landscapes of Writing

Collected Essays of Bapsi Sidhwa


Bapsi Sidhwa

Edited By Teresa Russo

This book is a collection of essays by international writer Bapsi Sidhwa gathered for the first time in one edition by Teresa Russo, with a foreword written by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Deepa Mehta. Landscapes of Writing: Collected Essays of Bapsi Sidhwa provides a writer’s perspective on issues of South Asian literature, linguistics, poetry, and views of political events and globalization. In the first part of the book, Bapsi Sidhwa discusses her childhood, family life, and how she became a writer. There is also a revised essay detailing how her book Cracking India became a film by Deepa Mehta. The second part of the book focuses on her thoughts concerning war, terrorism, and how to achieve peace. This collection includes two letters, demonstrating her local and nationalistic perspectives to a larger view of an interconnected world.

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Appendix B


Bapsi Sidhwa interviewed Deepa Mehta as a guest writer for Ms. Magazine after her book Cracking India was commissioned by Hamilton-Mehta Productions Inc. and Fire was in the box office. I include the interview here in the appendix for a better understanding of Sidhwa’s letter to The Hindustan Times, in which Sidhwa defends the filming of Water but also mentions the production of Fire in her defense of Mehta’s work, in Part II of this collection. Sidhwa and Mehta have known each other for the duration of the promotion of the Element Trilogy: Fire, Earth, Water. The interview further demonstrates their collaboration and the similar issues that they both hold dear in their work.       I initially found this interview among the letters and documents in the private collection of Feroze Bhandara while researching letters written by Bapsi Sidhwa to her family. Among this collection are family letters and copies of articles written by Sidhwa that she sent to her brother Feroze and his family. Her interview with Mehta is reprinted here with permission provided by Ms. Magazine.

Playing With Fire

Ms. Magazine

November/December 1997

Fire, the new movie by Indian Canadian filmmaker Deepa Mehta, is one of those films that burst into popular recognition without a lot of advance publicity, ← 143 | 144 → without names that many people know, and with only a simple tale to tell—in the case of Fire two-sisters-in-law who, shunned by their husbands, begin to nurture...

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