Jaipur Lit Fest: Did Aatish Taseer and William Dalrymple just have a big tiff?

Jaipur Lit Fest: Did Aatish Taseer and William Dalrymple just have a big tiff?

Apparently the young writer wants Dalrymple to praise his new book, only then will he attend Jaipur next year
14 Sep, 2015

Well, it's not everyday that you have a war of hot words in the literary world, but it might just be that Aatish Taseer is unwilling to reconcile with his old rival William Dalrymple, who is the co-organiser of Jaipur Literature Festival.

According to The Huffington Post, both writers purportedly got into a tiff in an email when Dalrymple sent a warm invite to Taseer asking him to become a part of a panel based on Partition literature and Urdu short story writer Saadat Hasan Manto. “I thought you'd be excellent, and I'd welcome your distinctive take on a subject you know well," the email sent on July 12 said.

But Taseer reportedly responded by referring to his newly released book, called The Way Things Were, which Dalrymple hadn't taken the time to comment on or praise.

Dalrymple on the other hand replied that he wants to end their feud: “There is no plot, and I am playing no game [...] It may well be that we are not destined to be friends, even if we share many friends and interests in common, but I really don't see that either of us gain anything by continuing these pointless hostilities. So please: do come to Jaipur, and while we're about it, how about we bury the hatchet?”

The report continued that Taseer claimed he has achieved more than Manto: “Willy, even you must know that you don’t write to a writer in the week that he has published his most important work yet, and not so much as mention it. Manto?! What is Manto compared with what I have achieved in the 'The Way Things Were'? Do you really believe I don't know the worth of my own work?” He later said rather plainly that he might think of attending those panel discussions if Dalrymple would laud his book: “Let me make this simple for you: go away and read my book. Then sit down and put in words your own admiration of it. After that I will gladly take seriously your invitation.”

Although Taseer didn't respond to this snarky scenario, the emails are making the rounds in literary circles (pun intended) and we wonder what's what!


Touseef Sep 14, 2015 11:20pm
Let me tell you Aatish Taseer, Manto wasn't an individual who would black mail someone to admire his work. Period.
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Khurrum Ahmed Sep 14, 2015 11:33pm
“He that is proud eats up himself: pride is his own glass, his own trumpet, his own chronicle.” - William Shakespeare
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A Knight's Tail Sep 15, 2015 02:20am
Taseer comparing himself with Manto! LOL!
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Caz Sep 15, 2015 04:13am
I look forward to reading The Way Things Were. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Stranger To History.
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Ajay vikram Singh Sep 16, 2015 02:11am
Oh wow. So someone hacked Dalrymple's email account and published emails sent by Aatish. Come on. We are a generation which is living off hearsay. The tiff between Aatish and Dalrymple is not news, and its a mistake of Dalrymple. Btw, His new book "The way things were" is really a masterclass, on the modern history of India. if has not already, he will surpass Manto in near future.
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