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Sunday, September 8, 2013

Author Mohsin Hamid on the difference between a novelist and a filmmaker

An excerpt from an engrossing book I have just finished reading:

As a novelist, I found it fascinating to watch a film being made. In many ways, Mira does what I do as a novelist — construct and painstakingly craft a story.

But she also does things I don't have to, like marshal 230 people for weeks on end. What I can do in a sentence or a paragraph, she has to build an entire set to do, and she needs carpenters, electricians and painters to do it.

I operate in a pleasant little cocoon, just me and my computer, quietly working away. She has to create this beautiful, impactful thing in complete chaos, with phones ringing, last-minute problems developing, traffic violations, electricity shortages — all kinds of crazy stuff.

I am much more appreciative now of how difficult it is to make a good film.
  • Mohsin Hamid, author of The Reluctant Fundamentalist, in his short essay in Mira Nair's The Reluctant Fundamentalist: From Book to Film
To read a review of The Reluctant Fundamentalist (the book) written by Commits student Rigved Sarkar (Class of 2010) for the college newspaper, visit the Commits website: "Musings of a man changed (http://commits.edu.in/aug/six.html)".

To read a review of the film by New York Times critic Manohla Dargis, click on this link: "Dreams Are Lost in the Melting Pot". The New York Times also has an interview with Mira Nair.
  • In addition, you should visit Mohsin Hamid's home page to learn more about the novelist (his latest best-seller is How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia).