World of art and art forgery

Faking it is a hilarious commentary about art collectors

Amrita Chowdary

A nervous-looking first-time author Amrita Chowdary, sat alongside author
Anita Nair, as the former’s book Faking It, was launched by its publisher Hachette, India, at the Reliance Time Out recently.

The story revolves around an NRI woman named Tara, who is an art enthusiast and a collector enamoured with the famed Indian artist Amrita Shergill. Tara buys a painting by Shergill, a treasure she is told. One that turns out to be a clever fake. The rest of the story is a cat-and-mouse game.

 The author also weaves in Tara’s personal quest for  identity, her growth from a self-conscious NRI to a more aware and assured woman, alongside all the intrigue and the sleuthing.

Anita Nair described the book was “a hilarious commentary on the elite set — the art collectors”. And the author agreed. The book is set in complex world of art and art forgery, it also talks about the      displaced world of the scattered diaspora. “A satire more than anything else,” Anita Nair said.

“Art being a passion, setting a book in this world came almost naturally,” said    Chowdary, who took about a year-and-a-half to complete both the background research and the actual writing of Faking It.

The suggestively titled book was named so to capture how “women fake it in different scenarios to fit different identities and art forgery itself,” said Chowdary.

The author told the gathering that you don’t have to be proficient in the arts and the art world to understand and stay with the plot.

In fact, she suggested, “It lays out what happens in the art world. A lay person could learn a lot from the book in a fun manner.”

This first-time author’s book held Anita Nair captive it seems. “I know it’s not done but I found myself constantly flipping to the last pages to find out what happened. It was gripping and hugely gripping. It’s not a chick flick. It’s not a literary piece. But it’s a fun book with substance,” she said.

The conversation between the authors was interesting but the writers must realise that reading to an audience is a whole new ball game and invite people, who are better qualified to do so to read to the audience.

Chowdary’s monotonous reading did little to bring the characters to life especially given that most people in the audience were not familiar with the book.

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