The very distinguished Emirates Airline Literature Festival got underway in Dubai yesterday. This years Program is an especially exciting one and features many well known and successful literary figures and well known writers.
Shobhaa De is among those who spoke yesterday and she ignited the first sparks of controversy at the festival by hitting out an American journalist who had written an in-depth feature about her on Thursday and indicated that she was India’s answer to Jackie Collins.
Shobhaa De apparently feels that any effort to make this comparison because she has written about Bollywood’s scandals and secrets is totally unfounded.. She was very vocal and said any effort to make this comparison meant the journalist in question had not made a fair comparison and was in fact just categorizing her in this way because they had not bothered to research her writing career properly.
The journalist and novelist also said she hated Slumdog Millionaire because it was an inaccurate portrayal of India and there was so much more to it than this.
Her latest book is Superstar India which was first published two years ago is a detailed look at India sixty years after independence. Among the areas she focuses on is her regret and sorrow that India has failed to protect its architectural treasures such as the world renowned Taj Mahal.
Love her or loathe her there is no doubt that Shobhaa De is one of the few Indian writers who strives to get to the heart of her country’s lifestyle from a woman’s point of view.
Shobhaa De is due to speak at the festival again tonight with fellow authors Vikas Swarup, Amit Chaudhuri and William Dalrymple from 7.00 to 8.00pm.Paul Holdsworth, Staff Writer, Gulf Jobs Market News