The Bone Season – Samantha Shannon in conversation with Supriya Nair – January 18
To a setting sun on the last event of the day, the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival 2014 welcomed a rising star in the literary world, Samantha Shannon. The extraordinarily young author came to discuss The Bone Season, the first book in a forthcoming seven novel series for which Shannon has signed a six-figure contract with Harry Potter publisher Bloomsbury.
Shannon walked onto the CHAR Bagh stage with a confident ease, although the naturally introverted author later confesses “If you would have told me a few years ago that I would be talking in front of a huge crowd at Jaipur I would have cried!” Her overnight success has meant a lot of traveling for promotion and now she has come to love the interactions facilitated by literary festivals.
Supriya Nair discussed the intricacies of The Bone Season with the author, admiring what she calls the “kickass female hero” that Shannon has created. The strong female protagonist, Paige, a savvy tomboy with a gift for clairvoyance, is something that literature sorely needs. The setting is equally intriguing as the story unfolds in a dystopian 2059 London and Oxford, leading Paige down a complex, steam punkesque, wicked Dickens rabbit hole.
Samantha Shannon, who hopes to release one book a year and has already sold movie rights for the book, draws inspiration from everything from Orwell’s sci-fi to fantasy to 19th century literature. Nair was thereby somewhat puzzled as to how to classify the borderline Young Adult, to which Shannon expressed her intelligent views on genre: “The novel was created out of experimentation and I think genre is something that discourages writers from that mindset of experimentation. I don’t like the idea that this is the blueprint for how novels are published. I don’t want to simulate others’ success.”
— ZEE Jaipur Lit Fest (@JaipurLitFest) January 18, 2014
This quote is particularly relevant considering Shannon has widely been branded as “the new J.K. Rowling” but tonight the young novelist clears the air: “It’s nice to be compared to her but to call me the new J.K. Rowling suggests there is something wrong with the old one and there isn’t.” Surely Samantha Shannon will be making a name for herself very shortly, single-handedly.
By Krysten Maier@ Jaipur Literature Festival.