BENGALURU : Priya Kuriyan is a book illustrator, comic book artist and an animator. Her illustrations in Indira: A Graphic Biography of Indira Gandhi, authored by Devapriya Roy, weave a tale of the formative years of the erstwhile Prime Minister through a combination of textual and comic narratives.
In a conversation with CE, Priya talks about her favourite books and graphic novels. Excerpts:
Your favourite book of all time and why? Could you quote a passage?
One of my recent favourites has been Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes. How often do we tell our own life story? How often do we adjust, embellish, make sly cuts? And the longer life goes on, the fewer are those around to challenge our account, to remind us that our life is not our life, merely the story we have told about our life. Told to others, but mainly to ourselves.
Your favourite fictional character and why?
Atticus Finch from To kill a Mockingbird. Simply put, he’s just a really brave character.
Few lines you got from a book, which you would never forget?
There was something capricious about God. How could one expect perfect submission from those who are imperfect? How could one create desire and then expect everyone to pull the plug on it? And if God were capricious, then God was imperfect. If God were imperfect, God was not God. - Jerry Pinto from Em and the Big Hoom
Five top books released in 2017, according to you?
The top five books I happened to read and liked were Ghachar Ghochar by Vivek Shanbagh, Boundless by Jillian Tamaki, Leila by Prayaag Akbar, Feast of Vultures by Josy Joseph and Here we are: Notes for living on planet earth by Oliver Jeffers
One book you would want a first edition of and why?
Perhaps a first edition Tin tin comic would be nice. Tintin in Tibet would be great. I’ve grown up reading them so there’s a bit of nostalgia attached to it and the art was always stunning.
Which author would you like to have tea with and what would you talk about?
Marjane Satrapi, perhaps. We might end up exchanging funny family stories.
Which books would you take with you on a solo holiday?
Some poetry by Mary Oliver, Arundhati Subramaniam. Graphic novels that I’ve wanted to read. And some book from my tsundoku pile.
Your one guilty-pleasure read?
One fictional character you go to when you need a friend?
Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes
What is one quality of a book you wish people would have?
One book you wish was never written, and why?
I dont know.. Maybe books that start a spate of other terrible books. Like the entire 50 shades trope.
A thing you cannot tolerate when reading?
Someone trying to make conversation.
Your favourite reading nook?
Do you keep bookmarks?
No. Not really