Mahajan informs us that Canteen explained its goals to a newspaper as follows:
“Writers have lost their place as cultural heroes. But why can’t they at least try to compete with pop-culture stars on the same terms? Let’s promote novelists as sexy and fabulous! Insist that the PEN Award require a turn on the catwalk! Hold the National Book Awards on a sliver of sand populated by buxom models in horn-rimmed shades; let the champagne pop for the cameras, as Oxford tweed gets wet on Temptation Island!”
Does it make a difference what writers look like? Will you read a serious piece arguing for the eradication of dowry more intently if you know it has been written by a "hot author"?
Here is Annie Zaidi's anti-dowry piece in Open magazine:
And here is Annie Zaidi, writer, columnist, author, as photographed by M.S. Gopal for Tehelka (to accompany Karan Mahajan's piece):
Tell me, are you going to be giving Zaidi's writing a closer look now?
- And if you're dying to see how Karan Mahajan has been captured in Canteen, visit the magazine's "Hot Authors" project.