Development Fiction

Exploring 'development' through all things fiction


Fiction, development, and policy

Looking beyond ‘business as usual’

(Photo: A visual summary of some of the key discussions at the Bond Conference)

On February 26 and 27, I participated at the Bond Annual Conference, Europe’s biggest international development event. I primarily covered the discussions of the CONNECT strand that focused largely on partnerships and collaborations. Overall, the conference offered some rich and diverse insight on pressing humanitarian and development challenges of today. Continue reading “Looking beyond ‘business as usual’”


Portraying child soldiers in fiction

Monday, 12th February was the International Day Against the Use of Child Soldiers.

Tens of thousands of children continue to be recruited as child soldiers in many war-torn countries. In fact, there seems to be no end in sight for these rising trends. While many children are forcibly recruited, some also join as they see no alternative in the midst of brutal conflict. The figures are alarming. Continue reading “Portraying child soldiers in fiction”

To what extent could Frankenstein’s Creature be regarded human?

In the final year of my undergraduate degree, about 10 years ago, I undertook a module on the theme of fiction and science. This wasn’t my first choice of the module, but by the end of it, I thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of it. For my final BA dissertation, I unpacked the ideas of ‘human’, ‘civilisation’, and ‘rights’, by examining three texts that can fall within the realm of science fiction – Frankenstein, Brave New World, and Never Let Me GoContinue reading “To what extent could Frankenstein’s Creature be regarded human?”

Rebecca: Turning towards feminist critiques?

I first read Daphne du Maurier’s masterpiece Rebecca in my mid-teens. Its opening paragraph mesmirised me – it was one of the most beautiful and haunting paragraphs I had ever read –

“Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again. It seemed to me I stood by the iron gate leading to the drive, and for a while I could not enter, for the way was barred to me. There was a padlock and a chain upon the gate. I called in my dream to the lodge-keeper, and had no answer, and peering closer through the rusted spokes of the gate I saw that the lodge was uninhabited”

Continue reading “Rebecca: Turning towards feminist critiques?”

The White Tiger

Aravind Adiga’s award-winning The White Tiger is full of contrasts – ‘twinned pairs and dualities‘. These highlight, not all too subtlety, the widening gap – this ever-present divide – between the rich and the poor, between progress and under-development, between promise and hopelessness. The passages are abound with irony.

Continue reading “The White Tiger”

Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl

“We were never trying to deny our femaleness. Instead, we wanted to expand the notion of what it means to be female. The notion of “female” should be so sprawling and complex that it becomes divorced from gender itself. We were considered a female band before we became merely a band; I was a female guitarist and Janet was a female drummer for years before we were simply considered a guitarist and a drummer. I think Sleater-Kinney wanted the privilege of starting from neutral ground, not from a perceived deficit or a linguistic limitation. Anything that isn’t traditional for women apparently requires that we remind people what an anomaly it is, even when it becomes less and less of an anomaly.”

Carrie Brownstein, Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl: A Memoir

‘A Village by the Sea’

It has been years since I read Anita Desai’s Village by the Sea. Published in 1982, the novel is aimed primarily at children and young people, and won the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize that year.

Continue reading “‘A Village by the Sea’”

Why we still need to write about polio

Growing up, I remember a young woman, who lived down our lane, walking with a limp on her leg. I gradually learnt that this was as a result of polio, where one of her legs were shorter than the other, and that she had contracted the virus at a young age. I came to understand polio this way. But, that is all I knew about the virus.

Polio is rare. In fact, it is close to extinction, and this is seen in the numbers. Continue reading “Why we still need to write about polio”

The Global Gag Rule: Can writers join the resistance?

On February 28, PAI is calling on people from across the world to join ‘a day of action’ on Twitter to speak out against President Trump’s Global Gag Rule. Ahead of this twitter chat and twitterstorm, we ask, can writers join this resistance, that has, for too long, being a subject of political back-and-forth?

Every year, over 21 million women experience unsafe abortions around the world. A majority of such unsafe abortions occur in developing countries, and risks are even higher in conflict-affected contexts. Unsafe abortion is also among the main causes of maternal mortality. President Trump’s re-introduction of the Global Gag Rule has stirred further debate and action on the already widely contested issue of abortion, and overall, on concerns around women’s sexual and reproductive health rights, as well as women’s freedom of choice and empowerment.

Continue reading “The Global Gag Rule: Can writers join the resistance?”

Create a free website or blog at

Up ↑