Always

Puzzled that I’d spend my time doing this, people will ask, ‘How long have you been writing?’ Part accusation, part sincere inquiry, it deserves consideration. The truest answer I have—and it’s not a wise guy answer—is always. I say ‘truest’ because of the stages leading up to my present output: two published novels; two mid-grade … Continue reading Always

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Elevatorwala

Mumbai has a wallah for everything, no task too big or small. Outside my 14th-story flat, one of four elevatorwalas pushes the button that takes us to the street and back again. The other night we ate our first dinner at a Parsi restaurant called---this is all one word---Sodabottleopenerwala. It’s a chain. Derived in part … Continue reading Elevatorwala

Posting from a New Home

After five years posting from DC, BenEastBooks moves on to Mumbai. Expect the same focus on craft and reviewing serious books by independent authors. Expect new writing invigorated by travel and adventure. Expect postings flavored with the exotic, the ancient, the extraordinary, and the very new. I welcome contributions, requests for reviews, and sensible observations. When … Continue reading Posting from a New Home

Reader Wanted

Today I finished my fifth novel. Tomorrow, it will be a gift for my son on his eighth birthday. I await the sense of release, the great pocket of freedom that opens up when a large file is deleted. Last December a man walked into the SweetLife Cafe wearing nothing at all but his socks. … Continue reading Reader Wanted

Maximum City

We are neither here nor there. The carpets are up and the curios down. The boys are packed and shipped off south for a week with Naniji. A week from tomorrow the packers arrive. They'll invade for 3 or 4 days to box up several categories of shipment: 700 lbs of air freight; 7k lbs … Continue reading Maximum City

Can He also Ride a Porcupine?

Two weeks ago (yes...) I visited my son's second grade class. I read to them from my current work in progress, a novel soon to be presented IHO Mohan's eighth birthday. Before I finished the hands were up and all the mouths were saying 'Ooh! Ooh! Ooh!' They had plans for my principal foil, a … Continue reading Can He also Ride a Porcupine?

Tom Wolfe,1930–2018

Tom Wolfe's passing takes me back to undergrad years and The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. I loved Bonfire of the Vanities and The Right Stuff, but it was Acid Test---published 50 years ago---that made Tom Wolfe electric. We were studying Ken Kesey under Barry Leeds and there was never enough to go around. Cuckoo's Nest … Continue reading Tom Wolfe,1930–2018

Titles for World Book Day

Re-posting these titles I wish I could find on Amazon, with a few more. Happy reading, writing, and whatever else it is you do with your books. The Novel Is Dead---A Murder Mystery   The Novel Is Dead. Long Live the Novel: An Arthurian Legend   The Attorney for the Attorney Representing the Client’s Attorney---A … Continue reading Titles for World Book Day

This Is Why We Write

Why We Write We write not to be read. We write not because we have something to say, but because something must be said and needs our attention. We write to put down the tracks of our thought and, through this process, clarify our intent, to give form and understanding to our own inscrutable intuition. … Continue reading This Is Why We Write

The Portable Art

Unlike the stuff we writers produce, art and music seem to make no demands of those who encounter it. The artist puts it out there---hangs it on the wall, pours it through speakers---and the public responds. They see it. They hear it. They get on with their day, likely the better for having encountered these … Continue reading The Portable Art