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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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Editor’s Preface


This edition is a labour of love for a dear friend whom I have known now for about twenty years. Bapsi Sidhwa and I first met in Washington, D.C. in 1999. I was working at The Shakespeare Theatre in the department of advancement. I had hired an associate to work on my team, Naureen Butt, who brought life to the department and became a dear friend to many of us at the theatre. Naureen, the daughter of Lieutenant General Ghulam Safdar Butt, known lovingly as Safdar Butt (and whom Bapsi discusses in her essays as Major or Colonel Safdar Butt), introduced Bapsi and I when Bapsi came to Washington, D.C. for the international film festival and special screening of Earth, Deepa Mehta’s film based on Cracking India. General Butt on a phone conversation that we had a few days before Bapsi’s arrival to the U.S. capitol insisted that Bapsi and I meet, after all her book was translated into Italian, Bapsi had traveled Italy on book tour and had been to Sicily (the island where I was born), and he and Noshir were great friends from the army. Indeed, she was a great figure to meet and is a wonderful human being. Naureen hosted a lovely lunch at her home for Bapsi and I, and Ruggiero, an actor at The Shakespeare Theatre and big fan of Bapsi’s novels, joined us. It was such a wonderful afternoon and great conversations about writing, Italy, traveling, the theatre, Ghandi, and Sonia...

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