Interview with literary novelist Vatsal Surti

Literary novelist Vatsal Surti helps me wrap up the week
chatting about his debut book, 20.
Vatsal Surti writes about
the interconnections of humans.

His novella, To Desire, written when
he was 17, was described by Kirkus Reviews as “poetic” with “engaging thoughts
about the meaning of life and death.”

He wrote his first novel, 20, at the
age of 20. His other work includes On
, a small collection of short stories and prose poems published in
Welcome, Vatsal. Please tell us about your current
20 is a
novel about loneliness and love. It features a 20-year-old fashion model and a
boy she meets one evening. It is a small, poetic novel that expresses, in an
atmospheric language, the experience of being alone when you are young, and
then finding someone who understands you. It is about insecurities and presentiments,
the space between two people and the love that takes place within it. It is
about all this and a thousand other things that can’t be expressed in direct words.
What inspired you to write this book?
I fell in love with
someone when I was 18. The novel was inspired by the lights, loneliness, dreams
and wonder it inspired.
Excerpt from 20:
That night, a strange
precognition came that filled her soul with a million stars. And she realized
everything one does is just another effort to be understood by someone a little
bit more.
What exciting story are you working on next?
I am working on my second
novel, which is kind of based on an old Japanese fairytale, but not exactly.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I wrote my first
story when I was eight. It was about a girl who wanders around the world
searching for a flower that flies away one day.
Do you write full-time? If so, what’s your work day
like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to
My day consists of writing
and at night I take long walks across the city.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I can write anywhere. All
I need is my MacBook and a place to sit.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be remembered.
Thanks for being here today!

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