Meira Chand


No great work of literature is completed in just one draft. In an age where writers have gone paperless, novelist Meira Chand ponders over the value of manuscripts, and what they might reveal about a writer’s thought process. As a young writer many years ago, it thrilled me to go to the Reading Room of the British Museum in London. This massive circular room with a soaring glass-domed ceiling opened in 1857, and it quickly became a mecca for writers from all over the world, who came here to research and write, and breathe in its rarefied literary atmosphere. Until its closure in 1997 and its transformation into an exhibition space in the British Museum, many famous writers and luminaries used the Reading Room, including the likes of Oscar Wilde, Karl Marx, Sun Yat Sen, George Bernard Shaw, H.G. Wells, Virginia Woolf and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, to name but…