Deep Wood Trance
About the Author:
Shruti Devi Vyricherla was born in Madras and educated in New Delhi. She shuttles between her ancestral home in Kurupam, Andhra Pradesh, and the National Capital Region. She is a lawyer and political activist, a member and functionary of the Indian National Congress Party, which she formally joined in 1998. As a specialist in Environmental Law, and a strong advocate for the rights of ethnic groups, her writings appear in publications as varied as the International Environmental Law Yearbook and the Lawyers’ Collective, to non-fiction books on economics and tribal development.
Beginning in the late 1980s, she has written about culture, students’ affairs, politics and the environment in publications such as Swagat, The Hindustan Times, The Sunday Observer, The Hindu Folio, and Hard News magazine. She was a part-time and voluntary co-editor of a bimonthly newsletter on biological diversity, NBSAP NEWS, for a United Nations–Government of India project for three years in the early 2000s.
Shruti wrote extensively on the web in the 1990s. She now runs two little-publicized blogs: one with her political views, and another with her creative writings, mainly poetry. Apart from English, she writes Telugu, Hindi and Urdu poems and translates from Odiya to English. She sees herself more as a poet than a writer of fiction. Deep Wood Trance is her first work of long fiction.
About the Book:
In her introduction to the book Shruti Devi writes:
“Deep Wood Trance is a jugglery of an individual’s existential quest, and examinations of ideas rooted in environmentalism, from the world of thought and science fiction on the one hand, and of earlier writings tossed into a connecting crucible on the other, eventually to be garnished, or iced, by the book’s nomenclature more than a decade after its final words having been written. This, in a sentence, is the history of the writing of this book.
The over-arching 2005 narrative drew into the story some of my selected writings from my teenage, college-going and young-adult years, which lay scribbled as inscriptions in a diary, as a story that was yet to be completed. Eleven years later, I was convinced that that this book was, indeed, complete (albeit with possible sequels that one might plan to glean from the rest of one’s written collections), and, in 2016, I entitled it Deep Wood Trance, put it into the form of a manuscript, and proceeded to go ahead with a publishing plan.
The work of prose now in the reader’s hands assimilates a variety of styles of communication, from blank verse, to pulp fiction, to writing for young adults, to essays, to lyrical fragments.
Depending on what captures one’s imagination, as it were, one’s awareness might wish to wander into areas that urge us to look deeper into the worlds of scientific experimentation; the high sciences and yoga; the system of education; spirituality; the outdoors, and how social and physical structures impact individuals; equity and sustainable development; and ways forward for the planet and beyond, within and without. These are thrown out as fine, gossamer-like loose nets of fleeting thought, without presuming to appropriate levels of thought-detail from one’s fellow-humans (or, for that matter, any other readers that might exist).”