“I became a writer by accident”


By the time Subin Bhattarai was five years old, he had already developed a passion for writing and reciting poems. He says he got into poetry hoping to be featured on a radio show allowing young children to recite their poems.

At 40, Bhattarai has several popular novels to his credit, including “Summer Love” and “Saya.” Her fifth novel, Ijoriya, is now on the market. In this interview with the Post, Bhattarai tells how he got into reading and writing, his favorite authors and how he became a writer.


Did you grow up in an environment that encouraged reading?

I was about six years old when the Maoist insurgency started gaining ground. Although my parents were never directly linked to the movement, some of my relatives were active participants and read revolutionary communist books, including Mao Zedong’s Red Keep. They hid the books in our house and I started reading them. Even though I was too young to read such books and didn’t understand much of them, I still read them.

What is the first book you read that made a lasting impression on you?

I don’t know if the book made an impression on me, but one of the first books I read that I still remember the story of is ‘Chor’ by Modnath Prasit, who won the Madan Puraskar in 1966 The book was period fiction. in which a young male character is accused of being a thief by society. I must have been five years old when I read it, but it was the first book that made me feel like I could write too.

When did you decide to become a writer?

I never really wanted to become a writer. I became a writer by accident. As someone who has always loved literature, I knew I had to write at least one book in my life, but I never thought about writing as a career. In 2011, I self-published my first book, ‘Kathaki Patra’, a collection of short stories. Although the book didn’t sell many copies, Bimal Acharya, a journalist and critic, read it and loved it. He recommended the book to FinePrint, a publishing house. A year and a half after publishing my first book, I received an offer from FinePrint and started working on my first novel “Summer Love”. My writing career took off from there.

What book made you think you made it as a writer?

‘Summer Love’ and ‘Saya’, my first and second novels, popularized me as a writer. Although critics disliked both novels, they were very popular with young adults. When I released “Priya Sufi” in 2018, critics started liking my work.

As a reader, what genres do you particularly enjoy reading? Has the preference changed over the years?

I started reading the works of BP Koirala from an early age. During my teenage years, I started to enjoy reading romance novels. In my twenties and thirties, I started reading contemporary Nepalese literature. I can read any book except those with dark themes.

Who are your favorite Nepalese authors, and why?

As I mentioned earlier, BP Koirala is one of my favorite authors of all time. I grew up with his books. His way of digging deep into the psychology of his characters is what I liked the most. I also love the works of Dhanush Chandra Gautam, a pioneer of dark humor, and Parijat for the way she explored human emotions through her writing.

Could you name three books that you never tire of recommending?

‘Ghamka Pailaharu’ by Dhanush Chandra Gautam

‘Aagat’ by Bhawani Bhikshu

‘Hitler Ra Yahudi’ by BP Koirala

These three books are very close to my heart. Whenever I’m going through a difficult phase in life or when I’m out of writing, I come back to these books and always come away more inspired.

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