"Translating Kun" is set in Thailand, which Mani calls a "land of bars and Buddhism" and nights "full of heady tropical scents with the chatter of humans and insects riding on the breeze." Employing a dreamlike mood, the story looks at the very different realities of a pleasure seeking expatriate writer and a hardworking Thai woman with whom he is involved.
Inderjeet Mani studied creative writing at the University of Pennsylvania, at Bread Loaf, and at Harvard. He has been published in Eclectica, BLIP Magazine (now New World Writing), 3:AM Magazine, Drunken Boat (Finalist for the Pan Literary Award, also one of storySouth’s Million Writers Award Notable Stories of 2007), Nimrod (Finalist for Katherine Anne Porter Prize), WIND (2003 Short Fiction Award), Word Riot, Asia Writes, The Deccan Herald, and various other venues. His books include The Imagined Moment, which analyzes time in fiction. Mani is also one of the people behind the Solpix lit-film web portal.
"Translating Kun" was published inThe Apple Valley Review (Fall 2013).
To read "Translating Kun" click here.
TCR Story of the Month highlights an outstanding work of short fiction published online within the preceding twelve months.
TCR Talks with Author Inderjeet Mani
Q: How long have you been writing?
A: I’ve been writing fiction and non-fiction ever since I can remember. In my mind, reading and writing are not that distinct, and my most vivid memory of early childhood is of sitting in bed with a book and having the syllables suddenly turn into words and then whole sentences! I published my first short story around thirteen or so in a high school magazine. I have had phases where I wrote intensely, and months of utter silence.
Q: Where did you get the idea for "Translating Kun?"
A: I was living in Chiang Mai, Thailand and spending my time writing stories. I am really drawn to tropical, bohemian settings, and Chiang Mai provided a lot of inspiration. One night I got into an argument with a family member and decided to step out for some fresh air. The next thing I knew, I was sitting in a neighborhood biergarten, chatting to the bartender and hearing snatches of fascinating conversation. One thing led to another, and when I returned home in the early hours of the morning, I was feeling pretty nauseous, so I lay in bed and then the images which became the story floated through my mind, mingling with events from the lives of some of my friends and relatives as well as ideas from a philosophy book I had been reading. I switched on my laptop, and soon a first draft emerged.
Q: Who are some of your favorite classic authors?
A: Going chronologically: Apuleius, Petronius, Montaigne, Lermontov, Baudelaire, Maupassant, Flaubert, Turgenev, Chekhov, Laxness, Borges, Cortazar, Nabokov….
Q: Who are some of your favorite contemporary authors?
A: Hard to say, since there are so many interesting ones. I was recently reading Frederick Barthelme’s collection The Law of Averages, which I found absolutely brilliant and hilarious. I also like Graham Swift, Alice Munro, and Patrick Suskind; but this list keeps evolving.
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