Queer Ink Book Club

The second meet is already upon us, and it’s exactly what any reader would dream to do – hold a discussion with the author about the story they’ve written, right after they’ve read it.

Starting noon, we’ll go on a skype call with Parvati Sharma, the author of The Quilt.

A short simple tale, The Quilt, says Sharma, was never intended for a collection of erotica, in which it eventually got published. “If I was told to write a story for an erotica anthology, I would never have been able to,” she says.
Having approached Ismat Chugtai’s Quilt as a lesbian story, Sharma found herself a tad disappointed. She couldn’t get over the paedophilia angle, nor could she really see what the fuss was about. Chugtai’s 1941 story began to “excite” Sharma (she, I believe, intended the pun), only when she stopped reading it as a “lesbian story”.

Those who attended the first meet may see how this ties up rather neatly with one of the questions we raised in the previous meet — what constitutes a lesbian/queer story, and by extension, what doesn’t.

By any definition, however, we can safely call Parvati’s story a queer one. It’s a story about two women making love, and more importantly, discussing Chugtai’s story. Dissecting it, more like. A lot of the concerns that the two protagonists raise, would sound familiar to us – about Begum Jan, about whether she is lesbian etc. What makes it highly enjoyable is the way the two talk about the story. It’s simple, it’s funny, and like the best of writings, it says more than it lets on.

Parvati is extremely excited to discuss her work, and intends to share what all she read and thought before she wrote that story. She’ll also bring up her concerns with both, Chugtai’s and her own work.
I’m certainly looking forward to it.

* Please make sure you read Parvati’s story, published in Electric Feather (a collection of erotic fiction) beforehand.

Date : 18th March, 2012

Time : 12PM-2PM

Venue : Email ‘events@queer-ink.com’ to RSVP and for Venue details

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