Kamila Shamsie, Pakistani-British author reflects on her love of test cricket, V.S Naipaul and CLR James in light of her upcoming travel to Trinidad as one of two UK authors being supported by the British Council to speak at the Bocas Lit Fest. The Festival takes place in Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago, from 27 April to 1 May 2016. On Thursday April 28th, Kamila Shamsie will talk to Shivanee Ramlochan, Trinidadian poet, arts reporter, literary reviewer and official Bocas blogger, about writing across national, cultural, and historical borders. The talk is taking place in the Old Fire Station from 4-5pm.
Kamila Shamsie is the Pakistani-British author of six novels, most recently, A God in Every Stone, which was shortlisted for the Baileys Prize, the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction and the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature. Three of her novels have received awards from Pakistan’s Academy of Letters. Kamila Shamsie is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and in 2013 was named a Granta Best of Young British Novelist.
“When people speak of military rule they often don’t discuss quite how boring it can make life to live in an extensively censoring world. In the Pakistan I grew up in there was very little by way of entertainment for an adolescent - but it never felt that way. With just a few basic tools, it's almost always possible to discover ways to keep your heart racing, your mind engaged if you just knew how to go about it. In my world two of the most successful ways to go about it was reading and watching cricket. Reading was an early love, but it took the West Indies tour of Pakistan in 1986-87 to make me discover the great immersive epic that is Test Cricket. Between my love for Brian Lara, V.S Naipual's 'A House for Mr Biswas', and CLR James’ Beyond the Boundary’, Trinidad has been exerting a hold on my imagination for a very long time. Having the chance to travel there for BOCAS - to meet the writers of today, and to visit Queen’s Park Oval - feels less like going to another literary festival and more like a pilgrimage.” Kamila Shamsie