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Family, Place and Culture in Fiction and Food

Saturday 28 March 2015

1 Hour


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Ticket price

Contemporary Indian novelist Prajwal Parajuly and actress, food writer and chef Madhur Jaffrey talk about the different ways they express the themes of family, sense of place and culture in their work.

Nepali-born Parajuly is part of a new wave of Indian-born novelists writing in English and recently became the youngest Indian author to be offered a two-book multi-country deal when he was signed by Quercus. His first novel, Land Where I Flee, was published in 2013. It sees three grandchildren returning from London, Colorado and New York to their native Gangtok for their grandmother’s 84th birthday. All three have their issues and each wants to emerge from the celebrations with nerves intact and their grandmother’s blessing. Parajuly’s debut collection of short stories, The Gurkha’s Daughter, was shortlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize.

Jaffrey was born in Delhi and won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London following a performance in Tennessee Williams’s Auto-da-Fe. From there her career took off and she went on to star in many Merchant Ivory films and to win accolades for theatre performances on Broadway and in the West End. She has carved out a second career as a food writer and broadcaster and is regarded as a world authority on Indian cuisine. She has published many cookery books and a memoir, Climbing the Mango Trees: A Memoir of a Childhood in India. Her first book, An Invitation to Indian Cookery, was published in 1973, and her first BBC series, Indian Cookery, turned her into a household name.