Harsh Trivedi

Novelist, academic researcher (specialisation in 19th-century French literature) columnist, Balzacian, other interests: western and Indian philosophy.


Sun Sign


Three things people don’t know about you?

I love DC comics (especially Batman), Raj Comics (especially Super Commando Dhruva) and I would like at some point to write novels in French and Hindi.

What’s your greatest fear?

I fear not living long enough to write and read as much as I would like to.

What is your greatest achievement?

Writing books, getting full scholarship to do research in literature in France and Italy, and being offered a fully funded Ph.D. in the U.K.

High point of your life?

Visiting the grave of Honoré de Balzac in Paris, I cried.

Low point of your life

Reading about the suicide of Esther, a courtesan, in Balzac’s novel ‘Splendeurs et misères des courtisanes’.

Which living person do you most admire?

Rahul Dravid

Who is your favorite fictional hero?


Who is your favorite fictional villain?

Professor Moriarty, the arch-nemesis of Sherlock Holmes.

Who are your favorite authors?

Tough question, there are so many. Balzac being the absolute favorite, but I really admire John Milton, Ezra Pound, Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyaya, Jeet Thayil, Salman Rushdie, Gustav Flaubert, Michel Houellebecq, Albert Camus, Premchand and Dostoyevsky. I am sure I have missed out a lot of names here.

What are your 5 favorite books of all time?

Louis Lambert, Illusions Perdues, Splendeur Et Misères Des Courtisanes, Paradise Lost, Satanic Verses.

Is there a book you love to reread?

Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged

What are your 5 favorite movies of all time?

Not a big movie watcher, but I really enjoyed Aaron Sorkin’s TV series, The Newsroom.

One Superpower you wish you had?

To be able to completely do away with sleeping.

Your epitaph would read? /Last line in your biography would be?

As Marx said on his deathbed ‘Go on, get out! Last words are for fools who haven’t said enough!’. Marx and I rarely agree, but on this point, I am totally with him.

If you had a time machine to take you back to any country and any time period, where would you choose to be for your childhood, adolosent , adult life and silver years?

Most certainly Paris of 19th century, the paradise of novelists.

If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?

The talent of being able to lie convincingly.

Which book you wish you had written ?

Each author’s style is different, I appreciate many of them, but would not really enjoy being in any other author's shoes.

When and where do you write ?

Mostly at night, in my flat, dorm, room, train etc. whatever my nomadic life allows.

Silence or music?

I get things rolling with some music, but as soon as I get in the zone, I turn the it off.

One phrase that you use most often?

No such phrase, but so far many my characters and the narrator seem to use a lot of curse words. Wonder what that says about me.

Do you have a writing ritual / superstition?


What’s your guilty reading pleasure?

I don’t know, calling a book ‘guilty pleasure’ would be pejorative. The words ‘guilty’ and ‘reading’ in the same sentence don’t make a lot of sense to me.

Do you have one sentence of advice for new writers?

The process of writing in itself is far more rewarding than any eventual success of your book. So if you have a story to tell, start writing it.

Currently doing research in the 19th century French literature at the University of Sheffield, UK, Harsh Trivedi has previously worked as a teacher of French at the Alliance Française de Delhi. He has taught English and Indian culture at high-school and pre-university level in France (Dijon). A gold medallist, he graduated from the University of Delhi with a major in French and holds a Master’s degree in French and Francophone literature from Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi, where he was also the founder and editor of the student journal Le Canard Halal. You can reach Harsh Trivedi at harsh.france@yahoo.fr

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