Bhattacharya should not be praised or blamed for how his work is interpreted

Dear Editor,

Rahul Bhattacharya might have written a book about Guyana’s ‘cultivated’ classes – the university professors, law-makers, artists, community leaders, educators, etc, whose absence in his book The Sly Company Of People Who Care Ryhaan Shah notes in her letter of February 21captioned ‘No one is prepared to make the obvious connection…’ – and I personally think Bhattacharya is such a fine writer that in that case he would have created a wonderful book for our pleasure and enlightenment. But he chose to write a book about Guyana’s “underbelly and about the characters and situations he encounters there.” That is what writers do. They choose situations, subjects and characters and they write. What the writer’s portrayal is perceived as representing is left to readers and reviewers. Do not praise or blame him for how his work is interpreted. I agree with those who think that Rahul Bhattacharya has written a masterpiece. I do not agree he has shown, or tried to show, the whole truth about Guyana.

Yours faithfully,
Ian McDonald

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