Sunday, August 19, 2012

Anushka Ravishankar on Harry Potter Series

Anushka Ravishankar is an acclaimed author of wonderful children's books. Some of her works are - Tiger on a Tree, To Market! To Market!, Atleast a Fish and Moin and the Monster.

We requested her to share her views on Harry Potter series with our readers and she gladly agreed. Here is what she has to say on Harry Potter books : 

It's difficult now to imagine the world of children's books without Harry Potter. What an amazing feat JK Rowling pulled off! In an age of television and video games, she made a cult of a series of books.

Reams have been written, and will continue to be written about why the books work. Is it the combination of magic with the everydayness of school life? Is it the deep, dark tale of goof and evil, leavened with the emotions of maternal love and friendship? It could be all of these, but when I read the Potter books again, I realise that JK Rowling is just a darned good writer. She writes with humour and precision and with a perfect ear for dialogue.

For me, though, the magic of Harry Potter began to wane after The Prisoner of Azkeban, when the books became fat and episodic and slightly self-indulgent. Some of them could have done with a good editorial slash and burn. The speculation is that because they'd become such a huge phenomenon by then, the publishers wanted them fatter.

And yet, with the last book everything came together so beautifully and satisfyingly that one was willing to overlook a lot. Except the epilogue, which evoked all the problems I had with some of the earlier books - that they were deeply gendered, and reflected many of the biases of the real world without making an attempt to subvert them. But that's a whole different thesis. 

Thanks Anushka :)

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