“Change and decay all around I see”. At such times during history, and arguably the world today – overshadowed by Covid 19, coruscating politics, a trashed environment, vitiated social media, rioting, hunger, poverty and collapsing economies – can there be books and writers that bring light and light relief? What perspective and outlook do those writers bring to life and writing, who can look beyond the darknesses of the human condition or tackle it with humour and optimism?
Amitava Kumar is the author of several works of nonfiction and three novels. His 2018 book Immigrant, Montana: A Novel, was on the list of most “notable books of the year” at the New York Times and The New Yorker.
Gill Hornby is the author of the best-selling The Hive and Altogether Now. Her new novel Miss Austen – the story of Jane Austen’s sister, Cassandra – was a Sunday Times bestseller in January of this year.