It’s not as if she has been on a break. Kapur, who heads Siyahi, one of India’s leading literary agencies, has been reading more than ever: “We are all frantically reading, all the time,” she says. It’s just that her organisation has seen an almost fivefold increase in the number of submissions. Ever since covid-19 sent people into forced lockdowns and isolation, literary agents and publishers have been inundated with manuscripts from writers who have finally had the time to work on their novels.
特别是在第二波甲流疫情hit India in the summer of 2021, many of them took the opportunity to hunker down and work on old, half-finished drafts. Yet others thought it was time to seize the moment and channel their fledgling ideas into dystopian fiction or medical thrillers.
But there is still no big covid-19 novel. Is it too early to expect one?
“让我们看看这样，”Namita Gokhalale说，她和她的第20次小说出来了盲母系，今年9月：在活动结束后几十年没有分区小说。“处理这么多时间（它）。第二次世界大战仍然是一个（非常）良好的主题。每次我们参加第二次世界大战时，我们都会发现更多和更新的尺寸，或在那时被忽视的战争的方面或刷过来。我认为这种流行病将在小说中复发，可能具有更大的深度，在未来的岁月。“Rahul Soni，哈珀林林斯印度的执行编辑（文学），呼应了Gokhale的观察。他说：“这可能需要10年，或者以任何重要的方式解决大流行（虚构）或任何深度，”他说。
预计可能是，传统出版空间中的第一台搬运工处于非小说中。他们主要是科学和解释论，关于疾病爆发和病毒，特别是关于冠状病毒。一个值得注意的印度头衔是The Coronavirus: What You Need To Know About The Global Pandemicby Dr Swapneil Parikh, Maherra Desai and Dr Rajesh Parikh, published by Penguin Random House India (PRHI). It came out as early as March 2020.
在创意写作中，大流行开始在诗歌和短篇小说中首先出现。这部小说，即使只是因为它所需的世界建设的长度和方法，甚至在比赛中都没有。第一个响应者之一，所以说话，是Shobhaa de，她的短篇小说E-Book系列，锁定联络员, published by Simon and Schuster—now, a year-and-a-half later, actor Lillette Dubey is adapting five of the book’s stories for the stage. Journalist and writer Udayan Mukherjee followed in October 2020 with his book of short stories,Essential Items And Other Tales From A Land In Lockdown, published by Bloomsbury—recently, it was longlisted for the Tata Lit Live Book of the Year Award.
同月，穆克雷杰的书出来了，PRHI召集了一本名诗歌Singing In The Dark, edited by poet and critic K. Satchidanandan and U.S.-based academic Nishi Chawla. It featured over 100 poets from around the world reflecting on what a crisis of such global magnitude meant. “We did realise that poets typically privilege a slow churning of their art, and that not many poets would embrace the idea of immediately responding to the pandemic as it is shaping and reshaping our lives,” the editors acknowledged in their foreword. This need for a “slow churn” applies also, and perhaps more so, to novels.
Currently, there is a sense that while novelists have begun engaging with the pandemic, both publishers and readers are not very open to books about it. “I am already representing two books that feature the pandemic, both are by well-known women writers,” says literary agent Kanishka Gupta, of the agency Writer’s Side. However, there is “major covid-19 fatigue”, he says. “Even if the treatment is fictional and creative”, such novels are being rejected by readers and, in turn, publishers. “Also, publishers feel like (a novel based on the pandemic) has a very limited shelf-life,” he adds. The uncertainty is in whether when things open up, and life regains a sense of normalcy, as it seems to be doing now, more newsy stories set in or featuring the pandemic years will still be of interest.
近期几个月，最近几个突出的书籍直接或间接涉及大流行。虽然Gokhale's盲母系is primarily the story of a family and its various members who also incidentally experience covid-19 and its consequences, Puja Changoiwala’s家bound, launched this month by HarperCollins, takes a more granular, newsy approach—it situates itself in the migrant crisis of 2020 to tell the story of a family based in Mumbai’s Dharavi, forced to head back home to their native village in Rajasthan following the nationwide covid-19 lockdown. Last week, PRHI announced that it would be publishing popular writer Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan’s next book, Soft Animal, “about a young couple enduring an unhappy marriage just as India embarks on its surreal COVID lockdown”. The book, Madhavan’s eighth, will be out in 2023.
然而，通过这一切，对大流行影响的提交的潜伏期的矛盾性。“很多人都在解决大流行本身，但这几乎就像只是为了提交提交的事情，”Hachette India的主编和出版商Poulmi Chatterjee说。“对我来说，没有别的人改变了......我补充说，我还没有看到（作者）提交的改变或改变文学或商业小说的形式。“
然而，在Siyahi，在提交的海洋中游泳，Kapur已经看到了小说被写的方式略有变化。“与一代愿意进行实验的作家，巧合（流行年份）。这种情况的伤害 - 有损失，悲伤，偏执，以及情感痛苦，在这么多水平 - 必然会影响你的想法，想象，梦想和你绘制你的下一步的方式，“她说。凯尔补充道，“但我可以向您向您保证语音，在角色开发的方式中，我可以向您保证。我在留在我的几本书中看到了所有这一切，读书很有趣。“