Margaret Atwood writes in Negotiating With The Dead:Shashi is reading at Silverfish again 6.30 tomorrow evening (Tuesday 25th). He's really good value, so try to make it.... There's an epigram tacked to my office bulletin board, pinched from a magazine - "Wanting to meet an an author because you like his work is like wanting to meet an author because you like pate."Well, meeting an author is precisely what I did yesterday. A coup for Raman who managed to get Indian writer Shashi Tharoor to come along and read from his books and do a short q&a afterwards. This guy is immensely popular in India, particularly for The Great Indian Novel which parodies the Mahabarata and is a hilarious send-up of modern Indian history. Nice looking guy, looking much much younger than his 48 years (how dare he be younger than me and have written so much!) with a fringe of hair he kept flicking self-consciously out of his eyes, and strange, pale eyes. (In other words, the duck was quite tasty, never mind the pate.) He read beautifully, putting on all the different voices: the British resident and the Gandhi-like character who leads the great crowd in the mango march (as opposed of course to the salt-march which was the beginning of the end for the British in India.) Even when you're an adult you enjoy being read to!
And it's quite inspiring that he mananges to write so much, despite the day job: he's actually Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information for the UN, and just happened to be in town for a conference on the role of the media.
He signed a copy of his book for me. I signed a copy of "my" book for him. We snapped a photo together in which we're both laughing like hyenas. (And no, you're not seeing it.)
I can't make it to the reading! Gotta go to the airport tonight. So sorry that your reporter-on-the-spot has to let you down but I hope someone else can go along and blog it.
Deepika Shetty of Channel News Asia writes about Shashi Tharoor's bid for top UN post here.