Acclaimed poet and short story writer Keki N Daruwallah’s first novel, For Pepper and Christ, was launched by Penguin Books India recently. Kunal Majumder spoke to the author. Excerpts…
For Pepper and Christ was a long time in the making; you started it in 1996, I believe. Any particular reason why it took over a decade to write?
I wrote it very intermittently. It was only after Penguin [signed me on] in 2006 that I really worked on finishing it. But I had written quite a few chapters earlier.
As the title suggests, the book looks at trade and religion as the key motivations for imperial powers to‘discover’ new lands.
Mostly trade but also religion, because oftheir absurd views. As Mark Tully said at the book launch, the Portuguese were so ignorant that they thought India could either be an Islamic or a Christian land. They had no idea about Hinduism. They had never come in contact with Hinduism. This is a historical novel set in the 15th century.
Read on in the August issue of M Magazine
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