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Interview with Pakistani author Ayesha Salman, about her debut novel Blue Dust.
Ayesha Salman is a writer and poet. Her first novel Blue Dust is based in Pakistan and the Middle East. It explores the lives of three generations of a family who struggle with their relationships, dreams, hopes and fears.
If you had not become a writer, what would you have been?
I don’t think you can become a writer. Writing is a necessity, a need, not an option.
What is the best thing about being a published author?
The best thing about it is being able to share your thoughts with others and learning something about your writing from your readers’ reactions. Now I can confront my own work with more clarity.
What was the hardest thing about writing Blue Dust?
Trying to create a balance between my portrayal of the public and private domains of the characters’ worlds. And trying to be true to both. That was the most difficult part I think.
If you were a man, would there be anything different about your book?
Blue Dust was written by me and I am a woman. That’s really all I can say. If I could write it again being a man that would be quite an experience, alas!
Who was the first to read Blue Dust? What was his/her reaction?
My three sisters have been my biggest supporters with my writing so I know for certain it was one of them, but to be honest I cannot remember which one. They have all always told me they love the book.
One book you would love to have written?
There are so many incredible writers and so many life changing books and poems that I have read and been influenced by. But being a poet as well as a prose writer I’d like to choose a poem instead of prose if I may and that would be The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S Eliot.
Future literary plans?
I am half way through my second novel which is based in Islamabad, Pakistan and I am hoping to finish it by the end of the year. I am also making a collection of my poems and continue to write poems. I have also recently moved from Pakistan to the UK and am hoping to further my writing career in the UK.
*Photo credit: Ayesha Salman.
Now dear readers, a book giveaway for you!
Answer this question: What do you think the title of this book “Blue Dust” means?
Just leave your answer as a comment below – and the best comment will get a copy of Blue Dust!
Please note: Only 1 comment per person. The book can only be sent to a valid address in India. Giveaway closes on 9 AM IST 15th Oct 2012.
So what are you waiting for? Comment away!
Update: Giveaway Closed.
The winner is Subha! Congrats Subha.
Previous Interviews in Author’s Corner:
Shefalee Vasudev of Powder Room
Tuhina Varshney of I’m Not Afraid Of GDPI
Yashodhara Lal of Just Married, Please Excuse
Rashmi Bansal of Poor Little Rich Slum
Meghna Pant of One & A Half Wife
Eowyn Ivey of The Snow Child
Shakti Salgaokar of Imperfect Mr.Right
Himani Vashishta of Princess of Falcons
Lata Gwalani of Incognito
Nina Godiwalla of Suits
Urvashi Gulia of My Way Is The Highway
Kiran Manral of The Reluctant Detective
Ameera Al Hakawati of Desperate In Dubai
Judy Balan of Two Fates
Women's Web is a vibrant community for Indian women, an authentic space for us
The name “Blue Dust” seems to add a magical dream like quality to the book…as if everything is happening through a dream or its so bizarre that it cannot be real and thus must be a dream. Thats what the title evokes in me.
Not having read the book “Blue Dust” yet, the title seems to imply a kind of philosophical meaning, and a style of writing that is both absolute as well as mystical. Since the tale is primarily about two female protagonists ( whom I assume would appear flawless but would be human all the same), and also written by a female author, i’m sure the book will remain true to its title and have well detailed, fantastical and imaginative worlds, with an intriguing storyline which leaves the reader in a contemplative mood, because what is reading if not a process to stimulate ones grey cells !
Blue dust is a term often used for Iron ore and in the case of the book it signifies the very characteristics that the ore has, its rare and fine and soft yet something as hard and strong as iron is derived from it. I believe the title signifies the rare story , the intricacies and complexities of the central characters and the fact that it can be all emotional at points and then extremely hard and real at others.
Blue Dust is like being caught in a thick magical cloud of dust, when lack of clarity leaves one confused, when lack of visibility of the outside world forces one to introspect and imagine things. When the thin line between reality and dreams vanishes. When the thick cloud shuts off the violent internal turmoil for the outside world and they see is calm and silence from the outside.
“Blue Dust” to me means loads of memories which are not so pleasant so they been covered in a deep recess of d mind n its been collecting dust ..The person wants to revisit those memories as she hasn’t got closure over them but is scaread.. But 1 day she will wipe thr dust clean n open that chapter of her life….
the spark that everyone has deep within us, the ray of hope.
… a sad version of stardust…
Dust is the residue of labor & Blue is the color of labor; the struggle or labor that the three generations in the book put into their relationships, dreams, hopes and fears would eventually leave behind behind only a blue dust for the onlookers and the generations after.
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