Q & A with Vikas Swarup

I was glad to have caught the Vikas Swarup book signing last week at National Book Store Glorietta 5, even though I had to sit through an hour of horrible traffic just to get there.

I saw Slumdog Millionaire when it was released and I enjoyed it, but I hadn’t gotten the chance to read the novel Q & A, on which the movie was based. But I enjoy meeting authors and talking to them, so I really wanted to interview Mr, Swarup. I was worried because he was scheduled for dinner over at the neighboring city, so I was glad he obliged when I ambushed him for an interview over cocktails (ooh, samosas and kebabs, and it was almost as if I could hear Jai Ho! in the background)!

Read on for an exclusive Q & A with Vikas Swarup!

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Meeting Andy Mulligan

I am so glad it stopped raining last Tuesday, because I got to attend the launch of “Trash” by Andy Mulligan at National Book Store Glorietta 5. I came from work so by the time I got there, a bevy of eager fans were already queued up to get their books signed so I was able to browse through the book while waiting for my turn.

Less than an hour later, I got to meet Andy Mulligan himself, and we were able to chat a bit about his latest novel “Trash,” a young adult novel loosely based on the Philippines, an adventure story featuring three dumpsite boys.

Check out what he has to say about the book!

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Miguel Syjuco launches ‘Ilustrado’

I spent most of last week in Davao City, toting along my review copy of Miguel Syjuco’s Ilustrado, winner of the 2008 Man Asian Literary Prize and the Palanca Award. It’s a metafictional novel that pieces together the life of Filipino writer-in-exile Crispin Salvador as his student, Miguel weaves together fragments of Salvador’s body of work, personal interviews, blog entries, newspaper clippings, and many other sources as he investigates his teacher’s mysterious death.

I spent most of my spare time engrossed in the novel — at the airport, on flights, and before hitting the sack at the hotel room  —  and I was looking forward to coming back to Manila to attend the press conference and launch at National Book Store.

The review will have to wait; I just finished the novel and I’m reviewing it for Manila Bulletin, so here’s a recap of the launch, the first release of Ilustrado anywhere in the world!

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Guest Blog: Welski meets Gaiman

Neil Gaiman was over here last week, to the delight of his legion of fans from all over the metro. While I enjoyed The Graveyard Book immensely, I must say I have yet to acquire the taste for his other works.  I’m not a big Gaiman fan so I’ve decided to leave the blogging to one real Gaiman fangirl — Welski, a book club friend from FFP, guest blogging from Bookerella the Enchanted.

I’m actually envious of her fan girl experience. I wish I was a Gaiman fan — he’s over here quite a lot, and there have been a lot of opportunities for fan encounters. I’ve never had a favorite writer (or illustrator for that matter) of mine visit the country for a tour.

Read on for the highlights of Welski’s story (copyediting and comments in blue mine).

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