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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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Foreword by Deepa Mehta


← vi | vii →


On a rainy day in Seattle, I walked into the Elliot Bay Bookstore, gravitated towards the South Asian Section and pulled out a copy of Bapsi Sidhwa’s novel Ice-Candy Man. What attracted me to the book was a quote on the enigmatic cover by the author, “All wars are fought on women’s bodies.” The truth of that devastating sentence has stayed with me until today. And the fact that it led me to devour the heart-breaking account of the Partition of India into Pakistan and India in one sitting, is stuff that films are made of. Told from the perspective of a ten-year-old girl, Ice-Candy Man made a huge impression and sent me on a journey that led me to its author; our collaboration and friendship resulted in the filming of Earth, the second part of our Element Trilogy.

I was introduced to Bapsi, a Pakistani living in Houston, Texas, by a common friend Nasreen Rehman, who subsequently translated the script of Ice-Candy Man aka Earth from English into Urdu.

Bapsi and I often ruminated about how a book based on sectarian war brought about a lasting friendship between a Pakistani/American and an Indian/Canadian. The irony did not escape us.

Full disclosure. I am a Bapsi Sidhwa fan. Not only because I admire her writing enormously, but also because under the guise of a gracious, sari- clad South Asian woman, Bapsi has the wickedest sense of humor...

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