Moin Mir is a London-based writer of Indian origin. He began writing under the influence of his grandfather, a scholar of Sufism, Omar Khayyam, and Mirza Ghalib. He is the author of the critically acclaimed book Surat: Fall of a Port, Rise of a Prince. The Lost Fragrance of Infinity is his second book. Mir speaks frequently at leading international literature festivals on topics ranging from Sufism, history, and travel writing. Ushnav Shroff, Copyeditor at Roli Books, exclusively interviewed him for you to know more about your author.
What is the last book you read?
Travels with a Tangerine: A Journey in the Footnotes of Ibn Battutah by Tim Mackintosh-Smith.
A guilty pleasure?
Sticky toffee pudding with extra caramel.
Where do you write? Do you have a favourite spot?
Orchards, gardens, the London Library, and an isolated Greek island which is a secret.
What is a book that has stayed with you?
Many, but more recently Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari for its grand sweep of the history of our species and for putting into perspective how terribly young we are on this planet. The Enneads by Plotinus for its simplicity yet philosophical depth and A Time of Gifts by Patrick Leigh Fermor for its sumptuous prose and gorgeous travel writing.
Your mornings are incomplete without…
My 7km run, and my Persian and Urdu reading.
What apart from what you do today do you wish you could do or pursue as a career?
Nothing else but this.
Your greatest fear?
Not being able to write.
A trait you admire in yourself?
Who would be the guests at your perfect dinner party?
Saadi Shirazi – the Persian poet from the 13th century, Hafez the Persian poet from the 14th century, Neil Armstrong – the first man on the moon, Aristotle, Plotinus, Brahmgupta – the Indian mathematician who invented the concept of zero, Virginia Woolf, Elvis Presley, Helen of Troy, Angela Merkel, Indra Nooyi, Meryl Streep, Frida Kahlo, Picasso, Leo Tolstoy, Diego Maradona, Alexander the Great, Emperor Akbar, The Beatles, Tina Turner, Artemis Gentileschi – the famous Italian painter from the 17th century, A.A Gill, Hillary Mantel, Confucius, Rafael Nadal, and Venus Williams.
A book you’d recommend to someone to get them out of a reading slump?
Definitely, Patrick Leigh Fermor’s A Time of Gifts as it will be a miraculously uplifting experience for anyone in a reading slump.