Literature Matters: Identity and Idealism
Novelist and journalist Hari Kunzru is the author of The Impressionists, Transmission, My Revolutions, Gods Without Men and White Tears. His work has been translated into twenty languages. In 2003, he caused a sensation when he turned down the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize on the grounds that it was backed by the Mail on Sunday, whose ‘hostility towards black and Asian people’ he regarded as unacceptable. The same year he was named by Granta one of twenty ‘Best of Young British Novelists’. In a conversation with Lisa Appignanesi, Chair of the Royal Society of Literature, he reflects on what literature means to us; whether its meaning changes when you develop from a reader into a writer; and whether fiction should have political ramifications.