Interviews

Above the Clouds: An Interview with Chandrahas Choudhury

Chandrahas Choudhury headshot

NEHA KIRPAL interviews CHANDRAHAS CHOUDHURY

Chandrahas Choudhury is a novelist and columnist based in New Delhi. His first novel Arzee the Dwarf was shortlisted for the Commonwealth First Book Prize and chosen by World Literature Today as one of “60 Essential English-Language Works of Modern Indian Literature.” Choudhury is also the editor of India: A Traveler’s Literary Companion.

Released by Simon & Schuster this year, Clouds is Choudhury’s second novel. While fictional, the book weaves in topical themes of religion, democracy, and politics in India.

Via email, Neha Kirpal recently spoke with Choudhury about the people and places that influenced Clouds’ narrative and characters, his obsession with clouds, and a recent mango trail he undertook across the subcontinent.

Avery FarmerAbove the Clouds: An Interview with Chandrahas Choudhury
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Ask a Local: Ko Ko Thett, Sagaing, Myanmar

With KO KO THETT

The lively streets of Sagaing.

The lively streets of Sagaing. Photo by Thett Su San

Name: Ko Ko Thett

Current town: Sagaing, Myanmar

How long have you lived here: Fifteen months

Three words to describe the climate: Humid-hot, humid-cool, humid-rainy

Best time of year to visit? From July to the end of February. My favorite time is after a drizzle, when the dust settles. 

Whitney BrunoAsk a Local: Ko Ko Thett, Sagaing, Myanmar
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Salons, New York City, and the Litriarchy: an interview with Iris Martin Cohen

Iris Martin Cohen

MELODY NIXON interviews IRIS MARTIN COHEN

Iris Martin Cohen’s debut novel is a witty, incisive, and very funny send up of New York City literary circles and the ambition that drives them. The Common’s Interviews Editor Melody Nixon spoke with Cohen this month about The Little Clan, New York high society, contemporary American male writers and their pitfalls, the female socialite ideal, and, you know, what to do about patriarchal capitalism.

Avery FarmerSalons, New York City, and the Litriarchy: an interview with Iris Martin Cohen
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Ask a Local: Rewa Zeinati, Beirut, Lebanon

With REWA ZEINATI

T-Marbouta, a restaurant in Beirut. Photo by author.

T-Marbouta, a restaurant in Beirut. Photo by author.

Your name: Rewa Zeinati

Current city or town: Beirut

How long have you lived here: On and off for twenty years

Three words to describe the climate: Mostly reasonably moderate

Best time of year to visit? All year, but if I really have to choose I would say between March and June

Whitney BrunoAsk a Local: Rewa Zeinati, Beirut, Lebanon
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Ask a Local: Elizabyth A. Hiscox, Gunnison, Colorado

With ELIZABYTH A. HISCOX

Trees in Gunnison, Colardo

Your name: Elizabyth A. Hiscox

Current city or town: Gunnison, Colorado

How long have you lived here: Four years (not yet a local by local standards)

Three words to describe the climate: Bright (year-round), frigid (in Winter), oxygen-deprived (great track & field team).

Best time of year to visit? Pick your outdoor poison/potion and it can be a year-round spot.

Avery FarmerAsk a Local: Elizabyth A. Hiscox, Gunnison, Colorado
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On Noticing: an interview with Kirstin Allio

Kirstin Allio headshot

ISABEL MEYERS interviews KIRSTIN ALLIO

Kirstin Allio is the author of the short story collection Clothed, Female Figure and the novel Garner, a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction. Her latest novel, Buddhism for Western Children, will be the inaugural novel from The Iowa Review Series, a new imprint from University of Iowa Press, coming out in the fall of 2018. In this month’s interview, Kirstin Allio and The Common’s editorial assistant Isabel Meyers discuss motherhood, childhood memories, and society’s fascination with religious cults.

Isabel MeyersOn Noticing: an interview with Kirstin Allio
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Ask a Local: Teolinda Gersão, Lisbon

With TEOLINDA GERSÃO

Lisbon


Your name:
Teolinda Gersão

Current city or town: Lisboa (Lisbon)

How long have you lived here: since 1965

Three words to describe the climate: sunny, mild, pleasant

Best time of year to visit? spring and autumn, but you can come any time

DoostiAsk a Local: Teolinda Gersão, Lisbon
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Ask a Local: Katie Cortese, Lubbock, Texas

With KATIE CORTESE

Your Name: Katie Cortese

Current City or Town: Lubbock, Texas

How Long Have You Lived here: 5 years

Three Words to Describe the Climate: Sunny, windy, dusty

Best time of the year to visit: Every season in Lubbock has its challenges, but I like it best in either May or September when everything is green and flowering, the hottest days are still either in front of us or past, and the wind is slightly less intense (though it never really goes away).

DoostiAsk a Local: Katie Cortese, Lubbock, Texas
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Ask a Local: Dilman Dila, Kampala, Uganda

With DILMAN DILA

Wide shot of Kampala City; a tall building on the right side, cars on the road, a line of trees in the middle

Your name: Dilman Dila

Current city or town: Kampala, Uganda

How long have you lived here
: Since 2011

Three words to describe the climate:
Friendly, sunny, dusty

Best time of year to visit? All year. It can get wet in the rainy season, with flash floods, but that doesn’t normally last more than a few hours.


1. The most striking physical features of this city/town are . . .
The birds. Kampala is full of wetlands. My home is near one and I sometimes see ten different species in a day. There’s a species that thrives in the middle of the streets. The marabou stork, karoli, the garbage collector. In the past the city had poor waste management and this attracted the storks, but today they have fallen in love with the lampposts and tall buildings and won’t leave, though the council has tried to exterminate them.

Sunna JuhnAsk a Local: Dilman Dila, Kampala, Uganda
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