India keeps inspiring us…
This week sees the release of new film Trishna, an adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the D’Urbervilles set in India. I’m interested to see this one and to find out how close they’ve kept to the book, and it also got me thinking about the rising influence of Indian book-to-film adaptations here in the UK. Slumdog Millionaire was of course a huge success (I recently rewatched it and found it just as brilliant the second time), and let’s not forget Bride & Prejudice, a Bollywood take on Austen’s classic story. Perhaps there will be more Indian cinema finding its way to the UK box office soon? I’d love to see something by Salman Rushdie adapted to the big screen, although admittedly film-makers would have to be brave to attempt it!
It’s clear that Indian culture as a whole has become intriguing to us; one only has to look at a list of prestigious book prize winners to find The White Tiger, Life of Pi, and Witness the Night. And let’s not forget our own Indian-born author, Sangeeta Bhargava. What is it about Indian fiction that we in the UK love so much? Perhaps it’s the sense of sumptuous colours, of vibrant modern life, set alongside the inevitable hardships in a country which still harbours widespread poverty. Perhaps part of our love for Indian fiction comes from an idea that it is an ‘exotic’, ‘other’ place. But I think above all the appeal lies in the pleasure and pain of seeing an underdog (or ‘slumdog’) protagonist fight back and overcome the odds.
Sara Magness, Editorial Administrator