Dostoevsky, Rushdie helped me heal: Lisa Ray on fight with cancer

Meraj Bhat

Jaipur, Jan 25 (PTI) Supermodel-actor Lisa Ray whose battle with cancer is now a published book, said that it was, in fact, books that helped her sail through the 'darkest period' of her life.

From the Russian literary titan Fyoder Dostoevsky, to contemporary writers like Salman Rushdie and Margaret Atwood, Ray said she read 'copiously and indiscriminately'.

'Books have played a very big role in bringing me out of the darkest period of my life. I read copiously and indiscriminately. I read Russian writers like Dostoevsky. I also read a lot of Salman Rushdie and Margaret Atwood,' Ray told PTI on the sidelines of the ongoing Jaipur Literature Festival.

According to her, the 19th century Russian writers continue to inspire and enlighten generations and remain relevant even today because their works deal with universal themes.

The 47-year-old actor said when she was at the height of her desirability and fame in India, she cut herself off from the outside world in order to read.

'I actually disappeared, stopped taking calls, stopped accepting modelling offers and cocooned myself in my house and I read and it's a true story. I spent three to four months locked inside my house with a pile of books,' she said.

'For me, books are borderless, transcendental. The best author to me is one who writes about things which we have experienced but may not have expressed,' she said.

Talking about her book 'Close to the Bone', which chronicles her battle with cancer, Ray said she liked to describe it not as a memoir, but as a 'travelogue with a soul'.

Deliberating on her fight against cancer, she said it taught her a lot about the meaning of success.

'There is absolutely no use in money and fame when you are suffering inside and are broken, you are experiencing trauma and not heading towards healing. That was the biggest lesson I learnt,' she said.

'I also learnt an interesting word that I never came across, it's called coddiwomple. It essentially means a purposeful travel towards a yet unforeseen and unknown destination. This word describes me, my book and my life. I love it and think I have coddiwompled my entire life,' she said.

Ray is expected to come out with three new books over the next few years, including a novel, a collection of poems, and a work of non-fiction. PTI MRJ TRS TRS