Annie Zaidi


Annie Zaidi lives in Mumbai, India, and began her career as a reporter with leading newspapers and magazines. She has published both fiction and non-fiction: Known Turf: Bantering with Bandits and Other True Tales is a collection of essays shortlisted for the Crossword Book Award in 2010, and Love Stories # 1 to 14 is a collection of short fiction published in 2012. In 2015, she published an anthology called Unbound: 2,000 Years of Indian Women’s Writing.

Elle magazine named Annie as one of the emerging South Asian writers “whose writing… will enrich South Asian literature”. She currently works as a freelance writer, working on fiction, scripts and columns for magazines and newspapers.

Her book, Bread, Cement, Cactus, is based on Annie’s entry to the Nine Dots Prize. The prize is worth $100,000, and posed the question, ‘Is there still no place like home?’. Bread, Cement, Cactus, explores notions of home and belonging rooted in her experiences of contemporary life in India, where migration – within the country, especially from villages to cities – is high.

Combining memoir and reportage, Bread, Cement, Cactus interrogates ideas of belonging, examining how a citizen’s sense of ‘home’ might collapse, or be recovered. More than 70 years later, Partition’s long shadow continues to touch the lives of everyone in the Subcontinent, with displacement, dispossession, erasure and disempowerment among the consequences for those on the margins of society.

Annie Zaidi is in the MyVLF Theatre on Wednesday 24th June at 7pm BST (2pm New York, 11am Los Angeles). Join Annie for her interview with Gwyn GB and then ask your questions after. Registration for MyVLF is FREE and gives you access to all our Theatre interviews.

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