Pankaj Mishra’s been having fun at the Hong Kong Literary Festival. “During the festival, Pankaj Mishra, who has been hailed as one of the most significant of India’s new generation of novelists, engaged in heated debate with Professor John Carey, the critic, reviewer, and broadcaster.

Carey accused some Indian writers of rising to prominence with a ‘lyrical, playful, Disney style of describing often horrific events.’ Carey singled out Arundhati Roy, author of The God Of Small Things. ‘I find her gap between manner and matter quite worrying.’ Mishra, who as an editor discovered Roy, jumped to her defence: ‘The same problem of a lack of political concern or moral concern that Professor Carey claims to see in novels by Arundhati Roy and Salman Rushdie. . . one could point to that in Kipling.’ If anyone has the text of the complete discussion, please do mail me (hurreebabu@yahoo.co.uk)

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