The Word

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By Isha Manchanda

Trina Nileena Banerjee
Poet and Actor

A book that means a lot to you?
It’s difficult to have one but perhaps, the collected poetry of Sylvia Plath and the later poems of Adrienne Rich. I was in college when I first started reading their poetry and they were my introduction to feminism. They were critical to my understanding of how poetry can express certain realities of women’s experiences that prose can’t, particularly Adrienne Rich.

Your favourite genre?
I connect with poetry and drama on a creative level. Even when I was a child, I enjoyed reading poems and plays a lot more than prose.

Your favourite character?
Among the men, I could fall in love with Estha from Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things. Among the women, it has to be Sarah Woodruff from John Fowles’ The French Lieutenant’s Woman and Alice from Alice in Wonderland.

An underrated book?
Most of Jean Rhys’ novels. A lot of her work is extremely powerful but not recognised. For instance, Good Morning, Midnight and Voyage in the Dark are both brilliant books.

An overrated book?
A lot of books tend to be hyped these days and when you read them you’re disappointed. I think recent chick-lit books are overrated. They claim to represent the lives of all urban women, which they don’t.

Last book read?
I re-read Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway a week back. I’ve also recently read Haruki Murakami’s After Dark. One can’t predict what’s going to happen next in his books.

A book you wish you’d written?
All of Virginia Woolf’s books. Especially Mrs Dalloway.

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