Had a wonderful afternoon with Aamer Hussein, discussing writing, art, and life over cups of rose mint tea and excellent baba ganoush. We go way back: two Sindhi/Pakistani/British/American writers who spent a long time feeling alienated and distanced from our cultures and countries, only to make mythic journeys back to our roots and origins, and derive inspiration from the journey as well as the arrival. You could say we’re both artists-in-exile who managed to come out of exile and write happy endings to our life stories…
Aamer’s just come out with his new book, Love and Its Seasons, a collection of short stories that delve into the realms of mythology and the metaphysical. Each story is like a finely-etched Mughal miniature, with echoes of the art of Japanese ukiyo-e paintings, both known for their exquisite attention to detail and their subject matter of folk tales, fables and history.
But really, Aamer’s recounting his personal mythology – and we all have one, carefully constructed over the days and hours of the quotidian as well as the significant events and people of our lives. His language is that of myth and legend, and in interpreting and translating the symbols and signs of his own parlance, he helps us to understand ours.
Don’t let the smallness of the book deceive you: this is the work of the artist, using the literary equivalent of the brush with only one hair, in order to bring to life the intimate world of the interior, cast large onto the epic screens of our minds and imaginations.