Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Mathematics of Writing a Novel

Bestselling novelist Manil Suri will deliver a powerpoint presentation about the mathematical thinking behind his new novel, The City of Devi (2013), Friday, 8PM, UAlbany Campus Center.

From a Mumbai-based reviewer:

"The highlight of the programme was Suri’s power point presentation (ppt) on his novel. It was definitely the most entertaining ppt I’ve ever sat through in my life, besides being the first one by an author on his novel."

"Suri had included sound effects, cut-outs of faces to represent his characters, and used visual elements such as a maze and a pomegranate to illustrate the various aspects of his novel. The most fascinating dimension of his writing process was the mingling of the literary and the mathematical."

"He had actually plotted the various narrative arcs, only to end up with ‘mathematical proof’ that The City of Devi could not be written. Just as he was ready to give up, his agent/editor wanted to take a look at whatever he’d written till then. He decided to polish the draft one last time before sending it to her. And that’s when he found a way to approach his material afresh, and eventually managed to ‘balance’ the fictional equation."

Read more in DNA India:

More on Suri's visit: