twitterfacebookgooglevimeoyoutubemail
CULTURE CENTRE
Film - Theatre - Music/Dance - Books - TV - Gallery - Art - Fashion/Lifestyle - Video

Real selves: Nikesh Shukla and ‘Meatspace’

Real selves: Nikesh Shukla and ‘Meatspace’

July 31 2014

A new novel charts the rise of social media and the impact it can have on individuals struggling to find their ‘real’ place in the world…

FUNNY, insightful and already glowingly reviewed, novelist Nikesh Shukla’s second book “Meatspace” is a prescient reflection on modern forms of communication and comes four years after his debut novel, “Coconut Unlimited“, which garnered much praise, a couple of book prize nominations and a place in the hearts of rapping wordsmiths…he’s back at it…both the rapping and the writing…

ACV: Tell us a little about “Meatspace”…What inspired you to write it?

Nikesh Shukla (NS):I had three experiences where the internet felt too close for comfort.

1) My mother died the week my first novel came out and I had this weird situation where I was privately grieving and publicly tweeting incessantly about my book, being all happy and charming and it was a weird dichotomy. A friend asked how I was and I told them, sad because mum had passed away and they were annoyed because they had no idea. I hadn’t tweeted about it. Which scared me.

2) I was debating tattoos with my best mate Rob and we got into the idea of a bow tie tattoo so you always looked smart. We did a Google image search to see what came up and the first picture in the image search was an exact doppelganger for my friend Rob. We were weirded out. Then we went into a Google hole and within five minutes had found all his social networks. We knew all these facts about this stranger.

3) For years I was the only Nikesh Shukla on Facebook. Then in 2010 another one appeared. And I started to wonder how similar we were.

ACV: How different was it from writing your first novel, “Coconut Unlimited”? Did you feel more confident this time around? In a previous interview* (about the £1 short story for charity, “The Time Machine“), you raised the idea of the ‘second novel’ syndrome, where the first is always fuelled by a very strong passion, but the second not as much…

NS: Nope. I felt more nervous. Because I had something to measure everything against. A book that people read and liked or disliked and paid for with their own money. Before, with “Coconut Unlimited“, I didn’t even think it’d get published at one point, so everything felt like a bonus, everything felt like a piece of wonder. Whereas this time, maybe being more cynical or more conscious of what to expect or just even the act of having an expectation felt different. And that put a lot of pressure on me to get it right. And it took three different drafts of three different books to do this.

ACV
Nikesh Shukla Five essential ACV questions
1.Who or what most inspired in your line of work, career or just life in general(from near and far)?
NS:Three people have given me three pieces of key advice in my writing life and they've changed the course of who I am: Niven Govinden (author), Josie Long (comedian) and Jamie Coleman (my agent) have all said important things that have dramatically affected my creative process.
2.What would count as an ambition still to be fulfilled?
NS:I'd love to write a book for teenagers, and a film. I'd also like to be a contestant on a game show.
3. What’s the best advice someone has ever given you? And the worst?
NS:The best one I quote a lot is from Josie Long: 'Sometimes if you want something to exist you have to make it for yourself.' The worst: I've read a lot of writing tips in my time and the worst ones are the ones that make you think there's a formula to any of this.
4. What’s your favourite place (other than home) and why?
NS:A restaurant called Tiffins in Bristol. They talk Gujarati to me when I feel homesick for London.
5. What would you tell your 18-year-old self?
NS:Stop watching 'The Wire' after season 4. The last season is really terrible.

ACV: Are you trying to tackle what you see as a particular social phenomena or rage – where existence in the virtual world overrides your real existence and relationships?

NS: I wanted to explore what happens when we lie about ourselves online to present the best version of ourselves and we then have to readjust how people see us in real life based on the lies we tell online. What is that doing to our personalties? Are we becoming schizophrenic? Who are we? Are we the people we say we are or the people we have to act like we are because of what we say we are online? Who am I? The person the tweet’s about or the person who wrote the tweet.

ACV:That idea of a different self-online or in social media is very seductive…is that what your central character is essentially wrestling with?

NS: All the characters are wrestling with the idea of a different self online. Kitab wants respect, kudos, validation from his online interactions. He wants to be viewed as somebody. He mistakes digital interactions for real-life meaningful ones.

The second Kitab, he thinks that everything we write about ourselves (he’s younger, represents the younger freer generation of people who live online entirely. He’s a digital native) is true and who we say we are online is ourselves, and we are friends based on these fringe interactions. And Aziz sees the blog as the ultimate storytelling device because it allows you live in the moment and report on it simultaneously, with all the feedback it comes with.

ACV: To be honest, when we come to a novel these days, we want to get away from 140 characters and short facebook posts and emails. We want to luxuriate in a piece of writing that goes on a bit and isn’t full of these sorts of artificial restraints and then we find novels like this. It can be a little off-putting at first and on first glance, but how would you counter that?

NS: I’m telling a story about how we live now steeped in our primary methods of communication. I feel like the stuff that bogs Jane Austen down is all that letter-writing. Who reads letters these days? To be honest, when I first started writing this book, it was because of an absence of writing about who we are at digital dot right now. It appears a lot of other writers, like Dave Eggers, Tao Lin, and others, all had similar feelings.

ACV: Who are your favourite writers, who inspires you? And why?

NS: I’m really bad at reading classics. I tend to read a lot of contemporary stuff. Maybe because I was scared off reading classic books at school and the one author we studied who resonated with me was Irvine Welsh. So, I love writers like Dave Eggers and Zadie Smith and Junot Diaz. They’re all big stylists but they’re also interested in storytelling. They write beautifully. I also love the work of Colson Whitehead. He makes me laugh more than any other author.

ACV: What would you say to an aspiring writer who wants to have his or her novel published (physically as a book and by a traditional publisher)? Is that idea dead? Is developing an audience on social media important or vital to this? Or can you do things the old way, write, get an agent and a book deal, without a presence or audience in social media?

NS: Write the best book you can that is true to you, your worldview, your key assets of storytelling and your voice. Everything else – agents, self-publishing, social media – it’s all bullshit till you’ve written the best book you can.

There’s no formula for any of this. So write the best book you can.

ACV: The reviews for “Meatspace” have been very good…you seem surprised…

NS: I’m always surprised if anyone wants to read anything I’ve done. It’s a nice surprise. It’s wonderful. I try not to take anything for granted, least of all, moving a reader to have a reaction, good or bad.

ACV: Who would you invite to your own very special dinner party and what would you cook for them? You have a maximum of six guests and they can be from the past or present.

NS: Probably my mum, dad, sister, wife and my cousins Leena and Krupa. I’d cook for them the dishes we all grew up on and chat about the good ol’ days. Does that sound cheesy? Haha, yeah it sounds well cheesy. I dunno – there’s like four friends I have from four different friendship groups and I know, if I got them all in a room together for dinner (still the food I grew up on, shaak roti, dhal bhatt), it would be the funniest evening of all of our lives. They would all make me laugh my ass off. They’re the funniest people I know. I just need to engineer this. (ACV: Tell us about it and film it!)

ACV: What country would you most like to visit and why?

NS: Japan. For the food, dude. Mostly for the food.

ACV: Who would you most like to feature in your forthcoming subaltern podcasts*?

NS: I’ve been really lucky in that I’ve had everyone I’ve always wanted on the show. It’s sad that due to time, I can’t continue it. I really wanted to get the comedian Stewart Lee, who’s a big influence of mine on the show but that would have been too sycophantic. But yes, due to timing, it’s all likely to stop this year.

ACV: What of the future….more novels, TV or film screenplays? Does any or all of this interest you…?

NS: I love writing – no matter what the execution. There’s a third novel in the works, a short film we made based off one of my short stories, I’m working on a film idea and many more short stories. I would love to write a book for teenagers if I can. I love writing. The very act of it is a pleasure and a nuisance and exactly what I need in my life so I’ll write all the dang day if I’m allowed.

The rap at his launch (quality is not great, but you get the idea…)

The official ‘Meatspace’ rap

*Nikesh Shukla’s work has been published in a wide range of publications, including The Guardian and Esquire and he has been a writer in residence at the BBC Asian Network and the Royal Festival Hall.
In 2011 out came “Generation Vexed: What the Riots Don’t Tell US About Our Nation’s Youth“, along with Kieran Yates and in the same year, he wrote “Kabadasses” a Channel 4 comedy, starring Shazad Latif, Jack Doolan and Josie Long.
There was then the novella, “The Time Machine“, which is a very touching and keenly felt exploration of bereavement, loss and classic Guju dishes and Shukla’s share of the £1 e-book went to the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation. More here.
In his spare time when not working, he hosts The Subaltern Podcast, which he describes as being an ‘anti-panel’ discussion featuring conversations with writers about writing. Authors Zadie Smith, Jennifer Egan and Sam Bain, among others, have featured.
He is married and lives in Bristol.
He is now resting (after the flurry of promotional activity around “Meatspace“) but probably not for very long…

tnMeatspaceCoverHighRes‘Meatspace’ by Nikesh Shukla, The Friday Project, purchase http://www.hive.co.uk/book/meatspace/18282100/

Share Button
Written by Asian Culture Vulture

73 Comments

  1. generic ventolin · April 24, 2020

    generic ventolin

    Real selves: Nikesh Shukla and 'Meatspace' – Asian Culture Vulture

  2. cialis alcohol · July 1, 2020

    cialis alcohol

    Real selves: Nikesh Shukla and 'Meatspace' – Asian Culture Vulture

  3. buy discount viagra · July 26, 2020

    buy discount viagra

    Real selves: Nikesh Shukla and 'Meatspace' – Asian Culture Vulture

  4. c3q4r43rq3r4qr34e · August 8, 2020

    Title

    […]very couple of websites that come about to be in depth beneath, from our point of view are undoubtedly well really worth checking out[…]

  5. buy hydroxychloroquine online · August 10, 2020

    buy hydroxychloroquine online

    Real selves: Nikesh Shukla and 'Meatspace' – Asian Culture Vulture

  6. r9cm34w9rxwrmw.com · August 13, 2020

    Title

    […]check beneath, are some totally unrelated websites to ours, however, they’re most trustworthy sources that we use[…]

  7. c4nwv57475w7s48cm477 · August 14, 2020

    Title

    […]we came across a cool site that you simply could love. Take a look in case you want[…]

  8. cq4r4r4axsrraearexr · August 16, 2020

    Title

    […]always a significant fan of linking to bloggers that I like but don’t get a lot of link love from[…]

  9. cq4r4r4axsrraearexr · August 18, 2020

    Title

    […]here are some links to web sites that we link to simply because we believe they are really worth visiting[…]

  10. cheap cialis online · September 21, 2020

    cheap cialis online

    Real selves: Nikesh Shukla and 'Meatspace' – Asian Culture Vulture

  11. buy cialis · September 29, 2020

    generic cialis no rx

    best place to buy cialis online

  12. liquid cialis · October 4, 2020

    cialis coupon

    cialis price

  13. canadian pharmacy viagra · October 7, 2020

    online viagra

    viagra pills

  14. buying viagra online · October 8, 2020

    generic viagra names

    buying viagra online

  15. viagra for sale · October 13, 2020

    viagra without prescription

    cheap viagra

  16. online viagra · October 13, 2020

    viagra online

    viagra dosage

  17. buying viagra online · October 14, 2020

    viagra online

    sildenafil

  18. viagra 75mg · October 19, 2020

    buy viagra switzerland

    viagra from canada

  19. tadalafil versus cialis · October 22, 2020

    cialis in mexico

    cialis effectiveness

  20. online viagra sales · October 24, 2020

    buy viagra low cost

    canadian pharmacy viagra no prescription

  21. buy cialis · October 26, 2020

    cialis mg

    cialis with dapoxetine

  22. cialis how it works · October 28, 2020

    wikipedia cialis

    cialis professional wikipedia

  23. viagra substitute uk · October 30, 2020

    viagra sales usa

    viagra price in india

  24. sign up for viagra · November 9, 2020

    how many years can you take viagra

    viagra 100 mg dose

  25. non generic viagra on line · November 17, 2020

    buy viagra in dubai

    viagra online canadian pharmacy

  26. generic viagra canada customs · November 20, 2020

    how much should viagra cost

    generic viagra dangers

  27. viagra brand name only · November 29, 2020

    viagra in the water

    viagra soft flavoured

  28. c20 viagra · December 22, 2020

    is there generic viagra available

    viagra non generic

  29. cialis manufacturer · January 2, 2021

    safe to buy cialis online

    buy cialis usa onlne pharmacy

  30. where to buy real viagra · January 6, 2021

    viagra mechanism

    canada pink viagra

  31. người yêu cũ muốn quay lại · January 6, 2021

    … [Trackback]

    […] Find More here to that Topic: asianculturevulture.com/portfolios/real-selves-nikesh-shukla-meatspace/ […]

  32. viagra like pills · January 21, 2021

    cheap viagra usa

    india viagra generic

  33. i need to buy viagra at a cheapest price · January 30, 2021

    generic viagra cialis online pharmacy

    buy generic viagra online reviews

  34. how long after taking cialis can i take viagra · February 1, 2021

    buy real cialis online

    where can i buy generic cialis with the best consumer rating

  35. buy real viagra online cheap · February 9, 2021

    order generic viagra online

    legal age to buy viagra

  36. Google · February 28, 2021

    Google

    We prefer to honor several other online web-sites on the internet, even when they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Beneath are some webpages worth checking out.

  37. 우리카지노 · March 8, 2021

    우리카지노

    […]Every as soon as in a while we choose blogs that we read. Listed below would be the most current web pages that we decide on […]

  38. Dachshund puppies for sale · March 11, 2021

    Dachshund puppies for sale

    […]although sites we backlink to beneath are considerably not connected to ours, we really feel they may be actually worth a go by way of, so possess a look[…]

  39. Top management Consulting firm in Nigeria · March 12, 2021

    Top management Consulting firm in Nigeria

    […]that is the finish of this report. Right here you’ll come across some websites that we believe you will enjoy, just click the links over[…]

  40. safestore auto · March 13, 2021

    safestore auto

    […]Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine some unrelated data, nevertheless seriously worth taking a appear, whoa did one study about Mid East has got far more problerms at the same time […]

  41. download full version pc games · March 14, 2021

    download full version pc games

    […]that is the end of this article. Here you’ll obtain some web-sites that we feel you will value, just click the hyperlinks over[…]

  42. divorce lawyer singapore · March 19, 2021

    divorce lawyer singapore

    […]Here are a few of the web-sites we advise for our visitors[…]

  43. New Jersey Fake driver's license · March 20, 2021

    New Jersey Fake driver’s license

    […]check below, are some entirely unrelated websites to ours, nevertheless, they are most trustworthy sources that we use[…]

  44. wall canvas · March 22, 2021

    wall canvas

    […]check beneath, are some entirely unrelated websites to ours, even so, they are most trustworthy sources that we use[…]

  45. order flexeril online · March 23, 2021

    order flexeril online

    […]Here is a good Weblog You might Find Intriguing that we Encourage You[…]

  46. https://trippydelics.ca · March 27, 2021

    https://trippydelics.ca

    […]that could be the finish of this article. Right here you will locate some websites that we think you’ll enjoy, just click the links over[…]

  47. buy guns online in md · April 3, 2021

    buy guns online in md

    […]always a significant fan of linking to bloggers that I adore but really don’t get lots of link appreciate from[…]

  48. shipping containers for sale marion il · April 3, 2021

    shipping containers for sale marion il

    […]Every as soon as inside a though we pick out blogs that we read. Listed below would be the most recent web pages that we opt for […]

  49. virtual card buy · April 5, 2021

    virtual card buy

    […]here are some hyperlinks to web sites that we link to mainly because we feel they may be worth visiting[…]

  50. 2/0 copper wire · April 6, 2021

    2/0 copper wire

    […]Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine some unrelated data, nonetheless actually worth taking a appear, whoa did a single understand about Mid East has got far more problerms also […]

  51. virtual card buy · April 7, 2021

    virtual card buy

    […]just beneath, are quite a few completely not related web-sites to ours, however, they are certainly really worth going over[…]

  52. Canada Pharmacy · April 8, 2021

    Canada Pharmacy

    […]one of our guests a short while ago encouraged the following website[…]

  53. where to buy delta 8 · April 9, 2021

    where to buy delta 8

    […]Here are a few of the web sites we recommend for our visitors[…]

  54. Freelancer marketplace · April 11, 2021

    Freelancer marketplace

    […]Here are several of the web-sites we advocate for our visitors[…]

  55. order cocaine online · April 12, 2021

    order cocaine online

    […]Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine a number of unrelated information, nevertheless definitely really worth taking a appear, whoa did one find out about Mid East has got more problerms too […]

  56. 샌즈카지노 · April 13, 2021

    샌즈카지노

    […]Here are some of the web pages we advise for our visitors[…]

  57. 메리트카지노 · April 13, 2021

    메리트카지노

    […]below you’ll obtain the link to some web sites that we feel you’ll want to visit[…]

  58. 코인카지노 · April 13, 2021

    코인카지노

    […]Here is a superb Weblog You may Come across Fascinating that we Encourage You[…]

  59. 퍼스트카지노 · April 15, 2021

    퍼스트카지노

    […]The info talked about within the article are some of the most beneficial accessible […]

  60. siamese kittens for sale near me · April 17, 2021

    siamese kittens for sale near me

    […]Every when in a even though we decide on blogs that we study. Listed below would be the latest sites that we select […]

  61. Gutter Cleaning UK · April 18, 2021

    Gutter Cleaning UK

    […]The information talked about in the post are a few of the very best accessible […]

  62. Web Design Lebanon · April 19, 2021

    Web Design Lebanon

    […]Sites of interest we’ve a link to[…]

  63. container homes for sale · April 20, 2021

    container homes for sale

    […]the time to read or stop by the material or web sites we have linked to below the[…]

  64. buy Instagram followers · April 22, 2021

    buy Instagram followers

    […]although internet sites we backlink to below are considerably not connected to ours, we feel they may be really worth a go through, so possess a look[…]

  65. Buy dmt online · April 25, 2021

    Buy dmt online

    […]below you will come across the link to some sites that we assume it is best to visit[…]

  66. furosemide tab 80 mg · April 26, 2021

    can you order furosemide without a prescription online

    order lasix 40 mg

  67. online cbd shop · April 27, 2021

    online cbd shop

    […]check below, are some totally unrelated web-sites to ours, nevertheless, they may be most trustworthy sources that we use[…]

  68. buy adhd online without prescription · April 28, 2021

    buy adhd online without prescription

    […]although sites we backlink to beneath are considerably not related to ours, we really feel they may be actually really worth a go via, so possess a look[…]

  69. SEO Canada · April 30, 2021

    SEO Canada

    […]Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine a number of unrelated data, nonetheless actually worth taking a search, whoa did one particular study about Mid East has got extra problerms at the same time […]

  70. SUPREME WEED STORE · May 3, 2021

    SUPREME WEED STORE

    […]just beneath, are a lot of absolutely not associated internet sites to ours, even so, they may be surely really worth going over[…]

  71. YouTube to MP4 · May 5, 2021

    YouTube to MP4

    […]one of our guests lately advised the following website[…]

  72. Website · May 7, 2021

    Website

    […]Sites of interest we’ve a link to[…]

  73. pegging with a strap on · May 9, 2021

    pegging with a strap on

    […]Here is a good Blog You might Uncover Intriguing that we Encourage You[…]