Born in Pakistan but now lives between London and Karachi, where she teaches Creative Writing at the university level. A graduate of the University of Oxford, she has a PhD from the University of Leicester. Her short stories have been published in literary journals such as The South Asian Review, The London Magazine, The Oxonian Review, Trespass, Bengal Lights, Sugar Mule and in award-winning anthologies and creative writing text books. She has also received the Oxonion Review Short Story Award and was shortlisted for the first Tibor Jones Award.
Her debut novel, Nobody Killed Her has been published by HarperCollins India.
Welcome Sabyn, I would like to ask you the following questions:
Intuitive in the sense that I can’t always explain why I feel a certain story will work if told in a specific way. I feel I have a sense or a longing set off by an image or a sound that I instinctively know can be translated into words. I love dreaming and sometimes I intuitively feel that an idea will makes a great story though at the time I find it hard to be logical about why I feel that way. Like with Nobody Killed Her, I had intuition that it will develop into a cracker of a story. I couldn’t explain why I was sure at the time but the feeling was very strong... and I always listen to myself. Because if I don’t, who will?
I think Writer's Block is the luxury of privileged writers who can afford to indulge in it. Working class professionals like me who also happen to be parents with a multitude of responsibilities rarely have the time to sit about waiting for the muse. And so whatever time I get I sit down and utilize it effectively. I think another reason I don’t get writer's block is I because I avoid the blank page. I always try to face the blank screen or the blank page only after I have dreamt up the story in my head while I was cooking or ironing or whatever I was doing before. For me dreaming up stories is a delicious way to distract myself from the harsh realities and often mundane chores of daily life. And so while you may think I’m chopping onions, in my head I may be planning a sequel to Nobody Killed Her….
The very first draft barely took me three or four weeks to bash out. However I did multiple revisions over the years. Till the very last day that it went into print, I was reworking it, rewriting it….
Weekends in Karachi come and go before I even realise they’ve begun. Mainly because the pace of live is so fast here. In London of course, Friday night meant party time! Art galleries and museums on Saturday and family time on Sunday. Here in Karachi I find the exclusion of women from public spaces especially jarring on weekends for I feel I’m very limited in my choices…This makes life monotonous and devoid of any interesting experiences such as meeting new people or discovering new places….
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Facebook Page : Nobody Killed Her
Twitter and Instagram: @sabynjaveri