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Volume 17

Appetite - Spring 2017

About the Issue

Anita Nair

Written by
Anita Nair

Anita Nair is the writer of seven novels including the bestselling and critically acclaimed Ladies Coupé (2001) and The Better Man (2000). She has also written a collection of poems (Malabar Mind, 2002, 1st edition), a short story collection (Satyr of the Subway, 1997), a book of literary essays (Goodnight & Good Bless, 2008), two plays, and the screenplay for the movie adaptation of her novel Lessons in Forgetting. In addition, Anita has published five children's books including Magical Indian Myths (2008) and Living Next Door to Alise (2007). Her books have been translated into over 30 languages around the world and her poems have appeared in various anthologies. Anita's most recent novel, Alphabet Soup for Lovers, was published in December 2015.


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Guest Editor’s Note


I sit at a beautiful teak dining table in a 150-year-old home in the heart of Colombo. All around are beautiful things, a testament to an appetite for beauty. The chandelier, another antique that will squeeze your heart with its incandescent elegance, hangs low so the room is in shadows and the open doors on all three sides allow the night to slither in. There is a full moon and a gentle breeze.

I eat a simple supper of string hoppers, an egg curry, and a tangy sambal. I am alone except for a manservant who glides in and out. The dogs lie at my feet.

Am I hungry? I don’t know. But if someone were to query: do you have an appetite? I would smile and say, ‘yes.’
For this is appetite. A strong desire to be part of the moment.

Appetite is a curious thing. It doesn’t have to be the immediate rapacious demand of hunger or the blind urge to fill a hole that comes with greed. Appetite isn’t a constant. It waxes and wanes almost as though the movement of the earth and the subterranean shift of the tides determine its course. One day your appetite dies and then for no reason it bursts forth, seeking, demanding, grasping….

There can be no appetite without hunger or greed but appetite rises above and beyond corporeal yearnings so it shapes itself around a stirring of the senses and a need to experience and understand.

So, you have an appetite for food and sex, an appetite for books and music, an appetite for the stars and discovery, but mostly an appetite is a synonym for life and living. For surging through time and day seeking a meaning that makes us fathom the limits of mortality and what it is to be human. And alive.



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