What is Suprose?

Welcome to Suprose.

Why Su-prose? "Su" in Sanskrit is a prefix for "good". This is a place where we will discuss and analyze prose (with a South Asian Connection) - that which is good, awesome, excellent, and maybe rant about prose that could be better.

Whether you love prose, are a prose expert, or want to learn more about prose, or to put it simply want to have anything to do with prose, this blog is for you.

Read, interact, enjoy and share...

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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

250 Books By Women All Men Should Read

From Joyland Magazine...

Esquire made reposted a slide show of 75 books all men should read. The books are mostly fantastic and the headline phrasing didn’t much bug us. After all, Esquire is a men’s magazine and has always been marketed as such. The problem was that the list was all male writers, save for lone lady Flannery O’Connor. This really does imply that men don’t/can’t/shouldn’t read women and we were pretty sure that wasn’t the case among readers. We were also sure that part of the editorial reason for making such a list this way was to generate a response, so here it is. Over Memorial Day weekend we asked Joyland readers, editors, and contributors to come up with a list of 75 Books By Women All Men Should Read. We received over 250 suggestions in two hours. We think the below is a seriously devastating list of great books all men should read. Thank you everyone who took part via Facebook and Twitter. We had to format many different kinds of responses so let us know if we made a mistake with your selections. Also please, keep the talk going in the comments and everywhere else. — Emily Schultz and Brian Joseph Davis, publishers of Joyland


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Angeline -- A Novel in 36 Voices

"Thirty-six of the most interesting writers in the Pacific Northwest came together for a week-long marathon of writing live on stage. The result? Hotel Angeline, a truly inventive novel that surprises at every turn of the page." Author Indu Sundaresan was a participant and author of Chapter 7 as well. 

Visit the Open Road Media website at --

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

'Miss New India' blends old and new lifestyles

In her review of Bharathi Mukherjee's Miss New India, Carol Memmott of USA TODAY writes, "In Miss New India, the award-winning Indian-American author Bharati Mukherjee strips away the Bollywood-esque romanticism of India to tell a touching story of a small-town girl who longs to control her destiny. Mukherjee, who interviewed numerous call center workers for this novel, elegantly entwines the notions of modern India, with all its technological promises and possibilities, with the country's embedded customs surrounding women's roles. The result is a portrait both charming and relevant."

Read the full review here.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

A Treasure Trove of Writers Essays on Writing

Take a free short online MFA by going to this New York Times link and reading some of the best essays on writing. This page archives essays by fine writers such as Jamaica Kincaid, Chitra Divakaruni, Saul Bellow, Alice Hoffman, and Amy Tan on the art of writing.

Here is an excerpt from Kurt Vonnegut Jr's essay titled "Despite Tough Guys, Life Is Not the Only School for Real Novelists" --

When the subject of creative writing courses is raised in company as sophisticated as readers of this paper, say, two virtually automatic responses can be expected. First a withering "Can you really teach anyone how to write?" An editor of this very paper asked me that only two days ago.

And then someone is almost certain to repeat a legend from the old days, when male American writers acted like tough guys, like Humphrey Bogart, to prove that they, although they were sensitive and liked beauty, were far from being homosexual. The Legend: A tough guy, I forget which one, is asked to speak to a creative writing class. He says: "What in hell are you doing here? Go home and glue your butts to a chair, and write and write until your heads fall off!" Or words to that effect.

My reply: "Listen, there were creative writing teachers long before there were creative writing courses, and they were called and continue to be called editors."

The Times guy who wondered if anybody could be taught how to write was taught how to write by editors. The tough guy who made students and their instructor feel like something the cat dragged in, possibly spitting on the floor after having done so, almost certainly, like me, handed in manuscripts to his publisher that were as much in need of repairs as what I got from students at the workshop.

If the tough guy was Thomas Wolfe or Ernest Hemingway, he had the same creative writing teacher who suggested, on the basis of his long experience, how the writer might clean up the messes on paper that he had made. He was Maxwell Perkins, reputedly one of the greatest editors of fiction who ever lived.

So there you have it: A creative writing course provides experienced editors for inspired amateurs.
What could be simpler or more dignified? Or fun?

When I quit a good job at General Electric to become a freelance writer 15 years earlier, there were only two degree-awarding graduate programs in creative writing in which short stories or poems or novels were accepted in lieu of theses: Iowa and Stanford.

I had attended neither one. To have done so would have been good for me. Vance Bourjaily, a permanent rather than transient member of the workshop faculty in my time, said he regretted not having apprenticed at Iowa or Stanford when he was starting out as a novelist. That would have saved him, he said, the several years he wasted trying to find out all by himself the best way to tell a story.

Much is known about how to tell a story, rules for sociability, for how to be a friend to a reader so the reader won't stop reading, how to be a good date on a blind date with a total stranger.

Some are more than 2,000 years old, having been posited by Aristotle. I paraphrase Aristotle: If you want to be comical, write about people to whom the audience can feel superior; if you want to be tragical, write about at least one person to whom the audience is bound to feel inferior, and no fair having human problems solved by dumb luck or heavenly intervention.

And let me say at this point that the best creative writing teachers, like the best editors, excel at teaching, not necessarily at writing. While I taught at Iowa in the company of literary celebrities, the most helpful teachers there were two lesser-known writers named William Cotter Murray and Eugene Garber.

There are now at least 100 creative writing programs in American colleges and universities, and even in Leipzig, Germany, as I would discover when I was there last October. That the subject is taught anywhere, given the daunting odds against anyone making a living writing stories or poems, might appear to be a scandal, as would be courses in pharmacy, if there were no such things as drugstores.
Yes, and our biggest secret about the Iowa Writers' Workshop was that it was one of the greatest teachers' colleges in the world.

The primary benefit of practicing any art, whether well or badly, is that it enables one's soul to grow. So the proliferation of creative writing courses is surely a good thing. Most came into being in response to demands by college students during the 1960's that their courses make more use of their natural impulses to be creative in ways that were not emphatically practical.

When I taught at Harvard for a year, for example, that was because students had asked for what they called "a creative track."

Chuffa, chuffa, chuffa.

Choo choo. Woo woo.

When I taught at Iowa, then Harvard, then City College, here is what I tried to get away with, only in effect, not actually: I asked each student to open his or her mouth as wide as possible. I reached in with a thumb and forefinger to a point directly beneath his or her epiglottis. There is the free end of a spool of tape there.

I pinched it, then pulled it out gradually, gently, so as not to make the student gag. When I got several feet of it out where we could see it, the student and I read what was written there.

You can access this treasure trove at this New York Times link.

Louise Erdrich on Writing and Motherhood

From Guardian Books podcast: Essays and translating Tagore:
"In this week's podcast we discuss the controversy over Philip Roth's Man Booker International win.

We also mark the launch of a new publisher dedicated to the essay. Lucasta Miller, of Notting Hill Editions joins us in the studio to explain why, far from a schoolroom slog, the essay is the most flexible and joyful of forms with a history that ranges from Montaigne and Locke to Roland Barthes and Virginia Wolfe. The biographer Iain Finlayson takes issue with one of our Twitter followers as to whether Boswell was actually a better essayist than Johnson.
Finally, we head off for another recent controversy, to hear from the poet Alice Oswald whether it's true that the great Bengali master Rabindranath Tagore is untranslatable."
29.7 MB

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Brian Lehrer Show: New India - WNYC

The Brian Lehrer Show: New India - WNYC

New India

Monday, May 16, 2011

Bharati Mukherjee, professor of English at UC Berkeley, National Book Critics Circle Award-winning author of Miss New India, (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011) talks about her new novel about a girl who flees an arranged marriage and ends up working in a call center in Bangalore.

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Sly Company of People Who Care - By Rahul Bhattacharya

Into the Heart of Guyana
Published: May 13, 2011
The narrator of this novel journeys into Guyana’s interior to seek answers about the country’s past.


Quality of Life: India vs. China by Amartya Sen | The New York Review of Books

Quality of Life: India vs. China by Amartya Sen | The New York Review of Books