Priya Basil

Photo © Suhrkamp Verlag

Connect with Priya

Release date: 4th December 2020
Interviewed by: Clémentine

Priya Basil was born in London, raised in Kenya and now lives in Berlin.  As well as being a journalist and essayist (The Guardian, Die Zeit, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Lettre Internationale), a novelist and a curator for literary events and festivals, Priya is also a political activist. She is one of the initiators of the movement against mass surveillance, campaigns for a European Holiday, and is part of the Wir Machen Das, welcoming refugees arriving in Berlin. She also is co-founder of Authors for Peace and of the literary-political journal, Rhinozeros.

Her latest book, the witty, rich and thought provoking essay, Be My Guest: Reflections on Food, Community and the Meaning of Generosity, is published in the UK by Canongate. ‘Priya Basil explores the meaning and limits of hospitality today, and in doing so she invites us to consider that how much we have in common may depend on what we are willing to share.’

In this podcast, Priya tells us of the importance of reaching for the unknown in literature, as well as food, in a bid to better understand and participate in the world.

She shares her explorations of The Human Condition by Hannah Arendt, Human Acts by Han Kang and Do Not Say We have Nothing by Madeleine Thien. Hear how a subscription to The New Yorker keeps her mind opened, and why Ottolenghi’s approach to cuisine is a lesson in encompassing differences. Priya also mentions The Vegetarian, by Han Kang.

Priya's Books

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