3 Questions with author Amit Majmudar
Amit Majmudar released his debut novel “Partitions,” which chronicles the journey of two Hindu boys as their country is torn apart in the late 1940s, to critical acclaim in 2011. The Dublin resident hopes to relive that success with “The Abundance” ($26, Metropolitan Books), released in March. In his sophomore effort, Majmudar writes from the perspective of a dying Indian-American woman who attempts to bond with her adult daughter by preparing the family’s traditional dishes. The 33-year-old award-winning poet, who spends his days as a diagnostic nuclear radiologist, shares how his day job and family affect the stories he tells.
When did you start writing?
I was probably in elementary school to early middle school. I would write these James Bond novels … and there would be super-weapons and secret conspiracies and Bond girls. Over the past 20 years, I’ve evolved into different areas of interest: Hindu mythology, poems on historical and religious themes, the 20th-century history of India. I’ve always had an interest in India that relates to my parents having grown up there and most of my family still living there.
Why write from the vantage of an elderly woman?
Three years ago, if you’d told me, “Write a novel from the perspective of a woman—and not just any woman, but a woman facing the end of her life,” I might have said that task was too difficult. It’s important, as an author, to test your limits.
Does being a doctor influence your writing?
Not all that much. Even in “The Abundance,” the narrator does get diagnosed [with cancer], but she almost never talks about it. I wanted it to be about life; I didn’t want it to be some cancer narrative.