Keshava Guha’s debut novel channels Harry Potter nostalgia
Historian Ramachandra Guha’s son Keshava has penned his debut novel which channels Harry Potter nostalgia and straddles multiple contexts and themes like fandom, identity, aspirations and relationships. "Accidental Magic” was launched at the Bangalore Literature Festival on Sunday evening.
Based in Bengaluru and Boston, the novel weaves in cross-cultural and relatable contexts such as the world of fan fiction, university life, with complex themes like solitude, self-discovery, identity, aspirations, and the tussle between love and duty. Published by HarperCollins India, “Accidental Magic” is the story of four very different people whose lives are brought together by Harry Potter.
For Kannan, Curtis, Rebecca and Malathi, social outsiders and people adrift, the intense and diverse world of Harry Potter fandom offers community, even a sense of meaning. The novel is about how flawed relationships can be; how people battle loneliness, live on hope and search for that perfect connection - often settling for imperfection - it is also about the tension between duty and the individual pursuit of happiness.
According to Keshava Guha, “Accidental Magic” is a novel about how outsiders and misfits can find a sense of place and meaning in a community that is open to anyone (e.g., Harry Potter fandom). “It is also a story of the challenges and rewards of relationships across cultures and generations,” he says.
At the launch, the author talked about his curious nature which propels his interest in writing, his love for reading growing up in a house filled with books, popular fan fiction writers, and his own book which is not Harry Potter fan fiction but just draws on that as a bridge between his protagonists and their cultural, generational differences. Publisher Diya Kar says "Accidental Magic" confirms that Keshava is a "fine, formidable writer, one of the most inventive I have read in recent years".
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