A PORTRAIT OF ASGAR AND THE PLIGHT OF KASHMIR
FEATURING THE ELOQUENT LETTERS OF SAYED ASGAR ALI RAZWY
When I wrote A PORTRAIT OF ASGAR AND THE PLIGHT OF KASHMIR in 1968, I went to see a publisher in Montreal named Alfred Warkenten.
He said he knew my work and he would publish my book - on one condition. I had to write a book for him - condemning Israel.
I had enjoyed painting for years, and one day I arranged to see an art dealer in downtown Montreal. It would also have been in the 1960's.
Her studio was well known, though I can't recall her name.
I showed the dealer a few of my paintings. She said they were "nothing to get excited about" - BUT - she could make me "a star" in the art world, show my paintings in her gallery (on Crescent or Bishop street in Montreal). She said anyone can be a success with the right promotion and she said she had a lot of influence on the art scene.
She would throw a vernissage for me and introduce me to the art critics.
IF - I would write her biography. She said she had been a victim in World War II. She said she knew my work and, if I would write her biography, she would make me famous.
I could have been a contender - but I wouldn't crawl - and I wouldn't sell my soul.
And so, I published A PORTRAIT OF ASGAR AND THE PLIGHT OF KASHMIR on my own. Asgar paid half the costs, but when I offered him half of the copies, he - typical of his Gandhi-like simplicity - refused to accept them or any profit that might come our way. He even refused reimbursement of his costs.
There were no profits. I never set out to sell the books. I just wanted to tell Asgar's story and the story of his beloved, beleaguered country.
So I sent copies of the book to libraries around the world and received acknowledgements and acceptance letters from the Library of the Parliament of Canada, the Library of the University of Hawaii, Honolulu, The British Museum, the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris, McGill University, Montreal, and the Fraser Hickson Library in Montreal.
Over decades, hundreds of my Letters to the Editors of major newspapers were published, and my articles appeared in Montreal newspapers.
With the advent of the World Wide Web, I was set free. No more dealing with editors and publishers - powers and principalities. I write and publish whatever I want to - day and night.
At this writing, July 18, 2014, more than 155,000 people around the world have read what I have to say. Free at last !
Phyllis Mass Carter
PHYLLIS CARTER'S JOURNAL
It is All About Justice