Best new crime books: Barry Forshaw in the Financial Times, May 2022

The Seen and the Unseen with Amit Varma

A lifetime spent reading, writing and reflecting teaches you a lot. Nilanjana Roy joins Amit Varma in episode 284 of The Seen and the Unseen to talk about books, feminism, family, memory and the state of the world.

The Sandip Roy Show

Nilanjana Roy on writing crime, eating books, and falling for Delhi

Writer and journalist Nilanjana Roy talks about her latest novel Black River, why she likes killing in print, and her adventures in reading.

Newslaundry’s Awful and Awesome Entertainment Wrap:
Episode 286 with Rajyasree Sen and Abhinandan Sekhri

One hour of irreverence, witches’ brooms and Black River, with two cool people.

The Literary City with Ramjee Chandran:
Nilanjana Roy And The Literature Of The Black Ri

“Nilanjana is, most recently, author of the novel, Black River and she is my guest on The Literary City. Nilanjana Roy is the girl who, as a child, ate books — in fact, she was known to have devoured them whole. This is obviously a reference to her book The Girl Who Ate Books, a paean to writing, writers and other such pursuit.

I enjoyed Black River mainly because it had a certain lyrical quality and a journalist’s eye for detail, all of which led to a murder mystery that is at once, a social commentary.”

SHOWSHA with Shreeja Bhattacharya:
Nilanjana S Roy On Her Latest Book, Black River & The Fate Of Indian English Writers

Black River on Showsha:

“Nilanjana S Roy, an erstwhile journalist, a literary critic, editor and an author, is riding high on the acclaim her recent book ‘Black River’ has been getting. She, in an exclusive interaction with Showsha’s Shreeja Bhattacharya, talks about the book, her interest with ambiguity and crime, the major shift from fantasy fiction writing to crime novels and the fate of Indian English writers.”

Sant Reads on Black River and Age of Vice:

“Brilliantly paced… I thought that the plot was really good, not just solving a murder, but giving you an idea of what it’s like to live in India right now, a flavour of that. Very well executed.”

“The Murder at the Heart of Black River Felt Like a Personal Loss”: Nilanjana S. Roy Talks about Delhi and Her Latest Novel

Kunzum Conversations:
“I have a weakness for villages or small towns or cities that are not famous but where all the drama and heartbreak of life unfolds anyway — if you go deeper. As a journalist, I spent a little time in many places like Teetarpur, and people would tell you, “Nothing ever happens here”, but behind the “nothing”, so much was hidden. Secrets, the grimmest of crimes, corruption, ruthlessness, heartache. And also love—ordinary, everyday, miraculous love.”

Finding Light Amidst Shadows
Author Nilanjana Roy speaks with Shreevatsa Nevatia and Reader’s Digest about writing Black River, her latest literary thriller, and facing the darkness of man with compassion and vulnerability.

Read the interview:

‘I find crime writing very calming’:
Author Nilanjana S. Roy talks to Stanley Carvalho about her new noir novel  Black River

Read/ listen:

Interview | Book Box: A Weekend of Crime by Sonya Dutta Choudhury, in The Hindustan Times, May 21, 2023

Excerpts from the conversation:

Your book is so cinematic.

I didn’t consciously aim for Black River to be cinematic, but everything about the novel — the casual murder of a child, the search for an elusive justice, the unlikely but strong friendships that can form even in the harshness of a city like Delhi, the slaughterhouse, the greed for land — was so sharp and vivid in my imagination. I wrote what I saw, and what the characters wanted me to see.

What can we expect from the sequel to Black River ?

The next book isn’t a classic sequel, though a character I grew to like and respect despite his flaws — the policeman Ombir Singh — will return. It’s set partly in Delhi, but in a starkly different world. I hope I can make it work on the page as well as it works in my imagination, but you never know until you’re done.”

Interview | Fantasy is part of my DNA as a writer and a reader: Nilanjana Roy
Author Nilanjana Roy talks to Surbhi Mehtani about the inspiration behind her latest book, ‘Black River’

“Black River — the title can signal an absence of light, a plunge into murkiness, as happens with the ruthless act of murder, but there’s also a hint of the depth and richness of swirling waters, and of all the beauty and warmth that runs under the surface of the lives of apparently ordinary people. The human heart is never as simple as it seems, and ‘Black River’, I hope, suggests both the profundity that people are capable of, and the abyss that can swallow even the most promising of lives.”

‘I don’t think we should write stories being fearful of how they will be received’: Nilanjana S Roy talks to Sharmishtha Jha

“You accept that part of your life is going to be terribly insecure and then you when you turn your attention to your friendships, to making a home within the temporariness. It is extraordinary. My understanding of what caring is and what courage is has changed through this book.”

Black River From The Reviewers

“Nilanjana Roy’s success lies in the fact that it is actually comforting to read her work not just for the clarity but also the beauty it brings to the heart of the reader.”

~ Sucheta Dasgupta, The Asian Age

“In a quiet and self-assured way, Roy extends her murder mystery into a meditative reflection on the search for truth, justice, and closure.”

~ Mukund Padmanabhan, The Hindu

“A police procedural.  Classic noir fiction. A reflective look at the elliptical loops around a crime. Nilanjana Roy’s Black River is all that and more. Roy brings to her crime fiction debut the skill she employed in her delightful cat books The Wildings and The Hundred Names of Darkness….a compassionate look at what ails the larger society.”

~ Sheila Kumar, The New Indian Express

“Powerful, clear-eyed, unsentimental but not without heart.”

~ Yashee, The Indian Express

“Nilanjana S Roy’s ‘Black River’ is as much a police procedural as it is a springboard for some serious reflection on the state of the nation. This rural noir, set in the craggy edge of the Delhi-Haryana border, unravels not just the mystery behind the crime but also peels away at layers and layers of insecurities, prejudices and fears that have come to define India, both in its cities and villages.”

~ Bindu Menon, The Tribune

“In the post-truth world we inhabit, history is often erased and facts are often suppressed and we need to turn more and more to fiction, to understand better the human condition, its tragedies and its truths. Black River delivers on all those counts.”

~ Saloni Sharma, Scroll

“Even excellent fiction in English rarely engages with the kind of world that is the home of Black River: it is a book born of research not in libraries but on foot, along the river but also inside the abattoir, in the farmlands at the margins that are constantly swallowed by the expanding city, through talking to the dispossessed, the folk who make the metropolis and are, yet, absent from its imagination… A masterpiece.”

~ Bharati Jagannathan, The Book Review

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