Author Kusum Lata Sawhney gives voice to strong women through her reads
There must be a voice, a platform for stories that need to be brought to the fore, to make a point, to bring about a change
Critically acclaimed author Kusum Lata Sawhney writes about things which might be mundane and ordinary but nevertheless is crucial to an evolving society. And her oeuvre includes Wych Stories, I Am All Woman, Ayala and Kindred Spirits, all of which gives a strong voice to women. Here she speaks about her recently released collection of poems We Might Have ... and the upcoming novels. Excerpts:
This time you are releasing not one but two books. What led to this decision?
COVID-19 and lockdown resulted in my poetry collection, We Might Have ... which is out now and my short novella will still take a couple of months.
Tell us about We Might Have ... and what triggered the musings in it?
We Might Have ... is an emotional response to the pandemic. It is a diary of events as they unfolded - from the virus's first appearance to the mutations and hopes with the vaccine today.
What's the second book all about?
It is a novel about self-deception, awakening and the determination to move from traditional restrictive binds.
What is your writing process like?
Pretty intense and disciplined most of the time. Sometimes I take months off when I need to recharge and see the view from a different angle.
You write both poetry and fiction novels. Which one do you enjoy the most or is more creatively satisfying?
Both. However, it depends on my frame of mind and the external and internal stimuli.
Your writings are always a strong voice of women. What is it that inspires you?
Women-centric issues are themes I am drawn to. There must be a voice, a platform for stories that need to be brought to the fore, to make a point, to bring about a change. Often, these themes that are very much part of our social fabric are hidden and neglected. I use my writing to highlight that which might be mundane and ordinary, but nevertheless is crucial to an evolving society. And, what inspires me? I am surrounded by strong women who have forged ahead and made something of themselves, broken some mould, and learnt to fight against biases, prejudices and hypocrisy. We need to constantly write these stories to motivate and celebrate the strong, the fierce, the brave.
Another novel. It's a big one. A mixture of magical realism and the supernatural. It will take time.