“What I am reflecting on is that I have to forgive people, events, time, the world, the country and probably also myself in order to be able to write. Your Clarice Lispector was trying this, I assume, and somehow apparently she managed. Or maybe I should say this: I am writing in order to forgive.”
— Ece Temelkuran (Turkey), Letter to Annelies Beck, 15 August 2016
Neel Mukherjee (b. 1970) is an Indian writer who lives in London and writes in English. His debut novel, about an Indian student struggling with English and with his (sexual and cultural) identity, first appeared in India as Past Continuous (2008) before being released on the international scene as A Life Apart (2010). In 2014 his ambitious second novel, The Lives of Others, made the shortlist of the Man Booker Prize. This novel deals with an Indian activist who wants to change the world around him and paints a portrait of several generations.
In November 2011 Mukherjee was a writer in residence at Passa Porta in Brussels. He subsequently addressed a letter to the Flemish writer Rachida Lamrabet: ‘To make a city or a place your home can have unprecedented costs for a writer. I am, of course, alluding to Theodor Adorno's dense aphorism in Minima Moralia: "It is the moral duty of a writer not to feel at home anywhere." (…) the condition of outsiderness is a productive one for a writer, and a moral one too.’