Born in 1966 in Goa, India, Jerry Pinto is an editor, journalist, novelist, poet, and translator whose work explores the pains of familial and political life. He has written six books, including the poetry collection Asylum and Other Poems and Helen: The Life and Times of an H-Bomb, an award-winning biography of Bollywood actress Helen Richardson Khan. In 2012 he published his ﬁrst work of ﬁction, Em and the Big Hoom. This semi-autobiographical novel, which Salman Rushdie called “one of the very best books to come out of India in a long, long time,” tells the story of an unnamed narrator’s slow, painful attempt to come to terms with his mother’s bipolar disorder and suicidal tendencies. In addition to telling a persuasive coming-of-age story, Em and the Big Hoom oﬀers an acute exploration of the impact of mental illness on intimate relationships, as well as a window into the fraught lives of the Goan Christians of Mumbai. “Love is never enough,” Pinto’s narrator says, “Madness is enough.” Pinto’s own work, however, suggests that art might oﬀer some consolation for the insuﬃciencies of love.
My first thought was: there is a God. Then there was: freedom to write. Then: that's America for you. Then: I have to sit down. Then: Me? Then: I am a writer, I should know what to say. Then: I don't know what to say. So I think I am going to say those simple words, which should be worn out by use but are so powerful still: thank you.