Author; Professor of English and Creative Writing, Ashoka University
Saikat Majumdar is a novelist and critic who teaches courses in modern and contemporary world literature in English, critical theory, the novel and narrative, colonial and postcolonial studies, and fiction and nonfiction writing.
Saikat is the author of three books, most recently, the novel The Firebird (Hachette/The Permanent Press, 2015 & 2017), a finalist for the Atta Galatta-Bangalore Literature Festival Fiction Prize, selected as one of The Telegraph’s Best Books of 2015, and excerpted in The Kenyon Review, World Literature Today, Scroll, and Firstpost. He has also published a monograph, Prose of the World: Modernism and the Banality of Empire (Columbia UP & Orient Blackswan, 2013), which received Honorable Mention at the Modernist Studies Association’s Annual Book Prize in 2014, and a previous novel, Silverfish (HarperCollins, 2007).
Saikat is currently working on three projects: a new work of fiction, a book on liberal education in India (under contract with Bloomsbury), and a study of the literary public intellectual from the global British Empire as an amateur and an autodidact, excerpts from which have been published or are forthcoming in PMLA, Literary Activism: A Collection of Perspectives, Ed. Amit Chaudhuri (Oxford UP, 2016), and NLH: New Literary History.
Can you teach someone to be a writer? Can you, indeed? Or to become a better writer? I guess that depends on how you define "teach." You can ask this question about any of the arts. Can you teach some...