Pranay Lal is a natural history writer and attempt to understand how lifeforms and landscapes evolved, and what events created them. He has a Master’s degrees in biochemistry, environmental sciences, and forestry. He has also worked in public health, particularly focusing on lung diseases, HIV/ AIDS, and environmental health. He has been an environmental activist and serve on government and intergovernmental panels on the environment and climate change.
To know more about him, Kunzum also had a little chat with him.
What kind of books do you like to read? Also list a few titles you always recommend others to read.
I devour academic journals and papers. I glean through 50 journals, and read over 100 papers a week. I read only non-fiction that covers natural history in its broadest sense, science, and the history of science. I occasionally read biographies and histories of countries and major global events. The best non-fiction book I read in the past couple of years is Benjamin Labatut’s When We Cease to Understand the World.
What drives you to be a writer?
As a child, I had too many questions which remained unanswered. I thought to myself that if some of my questions were interesting, perhaps these would be interesting for others as well. So, in a sense, it aligns with what Toni Morrison said, “If there’s a book that you want to read, but hasn’t been written, then you must write it.” So I write about topics about which books don’t exist. I still have thousands of questions that have remained unanswered, so I hope to find answers to these and continue to write them down in the form of books.
Would you have any words of advice for aspiring writers?
Read, listen, read more, and then write in your voice.
Why does reading (books) matter?
The foundation of civilisation is how they told stories and wrote them for generations to read. The most evolved nations today are those which have good bookshops and public libraries. The only way to see beauty across time and space is through the arts and literature.
Click here to know more about and order books by Pranay Lal. Signed editions can also be available.
Updated on March 28, 2023