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Interview: Nadeem Zaman

  • Published at 06:01 pm November 4th, 2019
Nadeem Zaman
Photo: Rajib Dhar

Nadeem Zaman speaks about his latest book and ongoing projects

Nadeem Zaman is a Bangladeshi-American fiction writer. His debut novel In the Time of the Others has been longlisted for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2019. His fiction has appeared in journals in the US, Hong Kong, India, and Bangladesh. The writer will attend the DLF to talk about his latest book Up in the Main House & Other Stories

What are you reading at the moment? 

Re-reading William Faulkner's trilogy of the Snopes Family, currently on the final book The Mansion.

How do you feel about participating in this year’s Dhaka Lit Fest as a speaker?  

I'm extremely excited and honored to be a speaker at DLF this year, and look forward to engaging with audiences, readers, writers, friends, and visitors from around the world. 

Please tell us something about the stories from your latest book Up in the Main House (2019). Are we to read them as separate stories or as a whole?

The stories in Up in the Main House were written over a course of about three years between 2011 and 2014. I learned what I know about writing short fiction by working on them, and they hold a special place in my heart, apart from my novel and other works. Yes, they can absolutely be read individually. That's the beauty of short fiction; even in a linked collection we can enjoy each story, savor them for their own beauty and craft. 

Are you working on any new story or novel now? 

Yes, I love working. And I'm currently between one finished draft of one novel and the makings of a new one.

Would you care to share briefly with our readers what your new venture is about?

Without setting up too many expectations—as books can be creatures of their own will—the finished novel is an intergenerational family story spanning 400 years, and the work in progress is about a man facing his fraught past many decades later when he thought he had finally left it as far behind as possible. As Faulkner said, "The past is never dead, it's not even past."