“Perhaps I’m happier being on the sidelines”: An interview with Adil Jussawalla

Anjali Nerlekar, Laetitia Zecchini

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


In this joint interview with Adil Jussawalla (b. 1940), conducted between 2014 and 2016, the poet reflects on his complicated yet affectionate relation with the older poet Nissim Ezekiel, and on the literary cultures of Bombay. Jussawalla also discusses the political and cultural ferment of the 1960s and 1970s and the ways in which Bombay echoed the ideological struggles and turmoil that were also happening elsewhere. He evokes the leftist student group, the Progressive Youth Movement (PROYOM), at St Xavier’s College where he taught English, and the difficult Emergency years when some of his colleagues were jailed. He also recalls his years at the magazine Debonair, his editorial work behind the landmark 1974 Penguin anthology of New Writing in India, and his experience in starting the Clearing House collective that is seen today as one of the eminent publishing experiments of the period.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)221-232
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Postcolonial Writing
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Mar 4 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Literature and Literary Theory


  • Bombay/Mumbai
  • Clearing House
  • Debonair
  • Indian Poetry in English
  • Nissim Ezekiel
  • St Xavier’s College
  • the Emergency


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