Kamila Shamsie: Bocas and Bogota - Part 1

| by Kamila Shamsie

Novelist Kamila Shamsie blogs from the Bocas Lit Fest in Trinidad and Tobago and the Bogotá Book Fair in Colombia, where she will be discussing her work and her contribution to the anthology Lunatics, Lovers and Poets: Twelve Stories After Shakespeare and Cervantes.

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 will be in discussion with Shivanee Ramlochan about writing across national, cultural, and historical borders on 28 April at 16.00-17.00 at the Old Fire Station, Port of Spain. For further details see the website of the Bocas Lit Fest.


Read part two of Kamila's blog here

Read part three of Kamila's blog here.

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