So that’s one item ticked off in the bucket list!
I am talking about the two days I had spent in Madurai this month, with over 25 young women who attended my workshop “A WRITER’S LIFE”. I was also the Keynote speaker and chief guest at Arcadia, the annual day of the Literature department at Lady Doak College; it was a fabulous experience, not only because I love talking <cough*preaching*cough> to young minds, but also because it gave me a peek into the current reading habits of Young India (South Indian edition).
Here’s what I learned:
- New adults (17-22 years old) like to read love stories. They all have read Chetan Bhagat, Ravinder Singh and Shakespeare.
- No, they do NOT want to read meaningful, poignant literature. They prefer books that can give them a break from reality.
- Only a few of them have read Tolkien (!!!). Yes, they prefer realistic fiction to fantasy.
- Most of them know about Kindle and a couple of them have actually self-published their works online.
- In my keynote address, I spoke about David Copperfield and Jane Eyre being YA books (of their time) and the teachers heartily agreed.
- The students clapped a lot and took selfies with me. I felt shy, proud and old.
- All of them have promised to read YA fiction, and were quite thrilled about it!
Moral of the story: Write love stories with happy endings. Save the angst for another audience!