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How to Write a Historical Novel and (MAYBE) not be in it….

Writing the Historical Novel: Reading and Craft talk with Dr. Nandini Bhattacharya–Zoom Nov. 5th 4-5 PM

Call for Papers on South Asia and Masculinity

We invite papers that are sensitive to contradictions, ambiguities, and affective dissonances that surface in the fictional depictions of masculinities due to economic, racial, religious, caste, and sexual hierarchies and conflicts.

Announcing the Tasveer South Asia Festival online…. Movies, Books and Conversations

Announcing the Tasveer South Asia Festival online

Sleep no more

“Glamis hath murdered sleep, and therefore Cawdor shall sleep no more. Macbeth shall sleep no more.”

Usha Akella I Will Not Bear You Sons

Terrific tidbits

I have the pleasure of sharing the following new works of art by wonderful writers, with reviews and associated events for their powerful voices

April 15, 2021; Checks and Balances

Can a man die of oxygen deprivation if there’s a strong, heavy knee placed on his neck for 9 (oh, just give and take, the killings haven’t even slowed down yet, homeys) minutes? Or must we dig for alternative causes like all the ills that black folks have been heir to and victim-blamed for throughout these last great American centuries—drugs, poor self-care, poverty, despair, lack of faith in the SYSTEM and the MAN, systemic denigration [note the intended pun! The word means ‘to blacken’!] and devaluation—till we come up with something resembling business as usual.

President's day

How will you observe this American President’s Day?

Now, I understand why it is important to trust and respect these institutions and figures. We have to believe in something, since much else in American history is now revealed to be quite embarrassing in the eyes of the whole world. But can the answers to my wonderment about the American President’s Day really be found in the Constitution? Or the politics of the Founding Fathers? The same men who thought and asserted they could uphold E Pluribus Unum while holding and fathering slaves?

eat drink and be merry for tomorrow you may be in utah

Eat drink and be merry, for tomorrow you may be in Utah

I wandered, literally, up and down the bruited and brutal ‘Oregon Trail’ which so many nineteenth-century Americans eager (or greedy) for a ‘better life,’ for the ‘American Dream’ set out on, in unbelievably rickety wagons, with children, wives, cattle, guns, food, elders (most in small quantities, except sometimes children) for the Pacific West and Northwest.

Annus Mirabilis, or Year of Wonders

Dear Friends and Readers, Is it possible? Is our Annus Mirabilis almost over? Really? 2020 is not going to jump back and take another swipe at us, sink down with us to the bottom of the ocean, turning off our living daylights?

YouTube Channel, Readings, and Travels

And two night ago I arrived at the Centrum Writer’s Residency in Port Townsend, WA, to write, reflect, self-flagellate (? always!) and look at the Pacific for three weeks.

KGB BAR

You can Still watch a reading by me, Usha Akella and Tori Reynolds, two amazing poets, at the KGB BAR, Nov 15, 6 -8 PM CST

PLEASE CONSIDER DONATING TO KGB BAR when you sign up for this event.
This iconic, independent literary institution of New York is on the verge of closing doors forever unless we, the public, readers and writers, who want the arts to survive, support them.

Trump Loses

The Three O-s

I will express strong love for Obstinate Older Oaklike men with thinning hair (as long as it’s not orange); I will let my heart flutter a little now and then; and I will even cry as I smile or laugh like a fool. The latter might happen at 7 pm CST tonight when my president addresses the nation.

Election 2020

Brave New World of Election 2020, half of the voters in the world’s most powerful country (leaving out the word ‘democracy’) have voted for Donald Trump

Election 2020

November 3, 2020 — what will the next eighty years bring?

Wendy J. Fox on Love’s Garden: “Love is an enigma, but marriage is serious business,” writes Bhattacharya in this novel that spans three decades and three generations of women in India under British colonial rule. The book deftly confronts how, for these women, marriage is often an escape route and the only pathway to having a home of their own. Though the setting is somewhat historical, spanning both world wars and the turbulent backdrop of the Indian independence movement, the novel is a timeless story of redemption.

About those silver linings in spite of COVID

Friends, below are some curated virtual events, artistic and literary, that are the silver lining in COVID skies. Because wherever you are in the world, COVID can’t stop you from attending these. So I’ve listed them below from soonest to latest. I could only list some, and there are many great ones I’m missing. Maybe you can write in comments about those.

Joyfully announcing retailers for Love’s Garden, my novel, in India

the Mother will understand if you don’t visit her in pandals this year, for she knows our hearts, is in our hearts. She is our heart. For she is our MOTHER. We worship her in our hearts.

Silver Lining — virtual readings

I hope at the end of that time there were be a ‘newer,’ ‘better’ normal, including a top to bottom clean-up of the big White House on 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Now, here are some free and open events at the Vermont Studio Center.

Review of Love’s Garden

Forewords Review of Love’s Garden BUY LOCALLY VIA BOOKSHOP BUY ON AMAZON LOVE’S GARDEN Nandini BhattacharyaAubade Publishing (Oct 27, 2020)Softcover $18.95 (435pp)978-1-951547-08-0 Clarion Rating: 4 out of 5 Love’s Garden is an expansive love story set during turbulent times. https://atomic-temporary-161503341.wpcomstaging.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=3983 Mari Carlson, Forewords Review of Love’s Garden Nandini Bhattacharya’s historical romance Love’s Garden witnesses India’s turbulent history at the turn of the twentieth century through the lives of one family. In 1898, Britain has influenced India’s law to the extent that Saroj need not die when her first husband does. Nor is she forced to marry her brother-in-law against her wishes. Instead, she arranges to marry…

AWWW, it’s a Happy Birthday

Dear Friends and Readers, Near and Far, please join me for the Happy Birthday of Love’s Garden You’re invited for the VIRTUAL book launch and happy birthday of Love’s Garden, An epic family saga of war, love, friendship, and sacrifice in twentieth-century India during its fight against British rule… TANTARAAAHH!! October 27, 2020 Find Love’s Garden at Amazon: and mark your calendars for these free, virtual, various and, I’d claim, virtuous events: Reading at the KGB Bar, New York City, Nov 15, 2020, 7-9 PM Book Launch at Brazos Bookstore, Houston, TX, Oct 27, 2020, 7–8 PM Reviewers hail it…

Get trump out

American Rust — review

This is a good time to take note that America’s president, who promised to help the hard-working backbone of American manufacturing toiling in mills, mines and swamps, is now telling the same unrelieved people to re-elect him by committing voter fraud.

The Goddess Durga

The Great Goddess Comes

Their misdeeds are legion, but here’s a short one: xenophobia, racism, corruption, personal and moral turpitude, lies, egomania, megalomania, and constant, untiring self-interest.

Love's Garden, a novel, by Nandini Bhattacharya

Please join me for the Launch of my novel Love’s Garden at Brazos Bookstore, Houston, TX

Friends, I have the great pleasure of inviting you to the Book Launch of Love’s Garden, October 27, 2020, 7-8 pm, at Brazos Bookstore, Houston.

sensual slim queer man dancing in modern studio

‘I Hate Men’

‘We should have the right not to like men,’ says Pauline Harmange

Love's Garden, for free

Do you like free books?

Would you like to read Love’s Garden for free?

On Arundhati Roy, from the writer of Love’s Garden….

“The targets of the dual assault of communal fascism and neo-liberalism are the poor and the minority communities (who, as time goes by are gradually being impoverished.) As neoliberalism drives its wedge between the rich and the poor, between India Shining and India, it becomes increasingly absurd for any mainstream political party to pretend to represent the interests of both the rich and the poor, because the interests of one can only be represented at the cost of the other.”

Love's Garden, a novel

Read Love’s Garden for free in the next two months

Life’s a story about a journey. I’ve been on a few lately, and have reported about some. But stories have their journeys too. As I’ve been traveling, so has my debut novel, Love’s Garden https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?v=3121058904637971&ref=watch_permalink Today I write to invite you, friends and readers, to read Love’s Garden FOR FREE, in the next two months, courtesy my excellent publisher Aubade Publishing, and NetGalley. https://www.netgalley.com/widget/268442/redeem/9ca1d204d8261cc444af4980ea46301368971a3b447503879f429055fe90e79c Oh, these are tough times https://fortune.com/2020/07/12/work-from-home-coronavirus-time-distortion/ But Stories are what will get us through the shadows and searchlights of History So I invite to join me in the recent legs of my journey as a writer,…

The Living Dead

Race and America; Political Blackness 2

I Can’t Breathe

spoonbill conoco

Where is this city in North America? Three guesses enough?

So, where am I safe? And, why am I having to ask this question?

Cambridge Writers Workshop IEE Benefit reading facebook live July 24, 2020

Cambridge Writers Workshop reading for Institute International Education got over 1000 views last night. Hope you were there!

“IIE’s mission is to help people and organizations leverage the power of international education to thrive in today’s interconnected world.”
“We believe that when education transcends borders, it opens minds, enabling people to go beyond building connections to solving problems together. Our vision is a peaceful, equitable world enriched by the international exchange of ideas and greater understanding between people and cultures.”
IIE focuses on work that “advances scholarship, builds economies, and promotes access to opportunity.” They run over 200 programs for international students with more than 29,000 participants.
If you would like to join us in supporting IIE’s work, you can learn more about making a direct donation here:
https://www.iie.org/Donate/Where-to-give

Sweet dreams are made of these….

Hot off the Press. Holding my first print copy of my debut novel. I never thought this would happen. So, thanks to all whom I acknowledge in the book and to all readers who would honor me by reading it. Love’s Garden It’s 1898. India is ruled by the British, and India’s women are ruled by British masters as well as Indian men. A desperate young widow makes an unspeakable sacrifice to save herself from ultimate dishonor. Though she marries a stranger for security and shelter, her damaged second family pays dearly for this Faustian bargain. Then, an extraordinary atonement,…

Cambridge Writers Workshop IEE Benefit reading facebook live July 24, 2020

Literary Durbar! For the Rights of Minorities and Refugees, and against xenophobic mentalities!

*****In light of recent pressures against allowing international students — futuremakers — to stay in the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic, CWW would like to emphasize their support of international connection and study.******

Review of Love's Garden in The Hll Times, India

The Hills Times presents Love’s Garden, courtesy of Dr. Ratan Bhattacharjee, Associate Professor and Chair of English, Motijheel College, Kolkata; Columnist; Poet; and Editor in Chief of Literary Confluence : A Global Journal of English and Culture Studies

My sincerest thanks to Dr. Ratan Bhattacharjee for writing about my debut novel, a great honor for me, and especially heartwarming coming from a fellow Indian and creative intellectual.

Election 2020

What’s the TIME?

“Thanks to COVID, we have rediscovered that we are just one species, and not necessarily the strongest one. This virus, in a way, could suppress the human species as we know it—that is, if we do nothing. This makes it unprecedented. It puts our whole view of the modern world—our vision of progress, our mastery over nature—in doubt.” Francois Hartog, historian

“I hate 2020”

To survive, we must learn to be sustainable while not taking this grand planet and its self-sustaining but sensitive ecosystem for granted.

The Topeka School

Ben Lerner’s The Tople School makes you despair a little about parenting.

Love’s Garden — Nearly There!

Love’s Garden — Nearly There!

Autobiography of Political Blackness

This series will be about my connection as a South Asian-American to Political Blackness, a term now in use to describe solidarity across races.

Big Bad Wolves

Rajput’s tragic death must be seen in the context that in the fairly global fairy tale where power generally devours women and spits them out as gristle (remember Red Riding Hood’s Wolf?), a MAN has suffered that unlikely fate. A MAN has died a womanly death. Whether anyone says it out loud or not, that Rajput was a man, that he was upper-caste Hindu, that he was gorgeous, that he was talented, meant nothing because he had “no godfather.” Like women, who have only one kind, for which Rajput presumably didn’t qualify or apply.

What kind of Despair? What kind of Hope? Let’s be ANTINA.

We need to be ANTINA: COVID ANTI-NATIONALISTS.

My Little Creative Interview, Courtesy of Scott Coon, Author of Lost Helix (2020)

Mesdames et Messieurs! It is good to have good friends Please use the link below to see the little creative interview Scott took of me http://www.scottcoonscifi.com/LCI.html I try to share in it my few ideas and insights about the writing life and the marketing of your writing life. It is important for today’s writers, in this changing and sometimes bewildering publishing world, to think savvy about the writing after it’s done. I hope some of my ideas will be useful. And don’t forget to check out Lost Helix, available at http://www.LostHelix.com Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/Lost-Helix-Scott-Coon/dp/1939844681 Barnes & Noble – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/lost-helix-scott-coon/1135144023?ean=9781939844682 Kobo – https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/lost-helix iTunes…

Elizabeth Hazen’s GIRLS LIKE US: POEMS is a feat of and feast of women’s poetry

lines of verse step out and push one hard in the chest, obliging exclamation, pause, reckoning, refamiliarization, resumption

Scott Coon reading from Lost Helix

Hey! Don’t miss this, readers! How lucky is it that we can watch the very talented Scott Coon reading from his amazing debut novel, Lost Helix!!! Leave comments and Scott will see them. Buy the book itself from Amazon, Kobo, Powell’s and other sites…. Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/Lost-Helix-Scott-Coon/dp/1939844681 Barnes & Noble – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/lost-helix-scott-coon/1135144023?ean=9781939844682 Kobo – https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/lost-helix iTunes – https://books.apple.com/ca/book/lost-helix/id1490128516 Smashwords – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/993588 Bookshop.org – https://bookshop.org/books/lost-helix/9781939844682 Powell’s – https://www.powells.com/book/-9781939844682 Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/50386208-lost-helix Dancing Lemur – http://www.dancinglemurpressllc.com/sciencefictionfantasy

Amitav Ghosh’s Gun Island, a gripping literary and environmental thriller

When sea creatures are beaching and dying, species and humans are becoming refugees, forests are burning, storms are destroying, oceans are rising, crops are failing and viruses are prowling, it could be because humans are still not listening to ancestors.

Juneteenth in George Floyd’s America

Wherever you are, and whoever you are, reading this, what are we going to do? What are we going to do when it looks like the ‘man’ who stands behind all this is probably going to get re-elected in November 2020?

Threefer: three novels by amazing writers Leni Zumas, Lidia Yukanavitch and Jeannette Winterson

It seems the basic reason that the sociologies of gender and science intersecting matters is this: that intersection is what foregrounds the historical and contemporary controversy about what it means to have ‘life.’

HINDSIGHT 2020? Is this how 2020 — ANNUS MIRABILIS of COVID-19, global CLIMATE catastrophe, and Galloping toward THE SINGULARITY, the three slathering horsemen of the Apocalypse called POSTHUMANISM — will be remembered? In the indomitable true spirit of Sci-fi, Scott Coon’s debut venture Lost Helix reminds us that we should be looking back too as we move forward into an unknown future…..

Lost Helix
By Scott Coon

Excerpt

After the system kids finished their celebration, DJ waited while Paul changed. Then they headed to DJ’s empty apartment for an unsupervised night of violent video games. As the elevator whooshed them toward residential level nine, Paul made an announcement. “I’ve decided not to wait. I have the money, and I don’t need their worthless diploma in the mining arts. After the championship, I’m bouncing out of this human habit trail.”
For the first time in their lives, Paul’s pipedream felt real. He could feel it already.
Alone.
He tightened his jaw. “Have you even figured out how you’re going to get off the station? They bring our food in by drones, and the shuttles are locked down. Did you come up with something else?”
Paul grinned from ear to ear. “Oh, don’t you worry about that. Unlike school, I’ve been studying for this. There are more ways off this station than you think. It’s more a matter of choice at this point. I’ll be sending you a holo from New Greene.”
New Greene. DJ couldn’t imagine a place like New Greene, where you could go outside without a pressure suit and walk around under a sky. It would be strange. It would also be strange to be here without Paul. Paul was right. His dad was right. DJ needed to figure something out before Black Mountain figured it out for him. He didn’t want to be a miner, but he didn’t want to be a farmer, either. But how could he become anything else?
He didn’t know.
DJ managed a meager smile. “I hope I get that message, but I don’t want to see your body floating outside my window.”
Paul snorted. “You’ll never see my body floating outside your window. I’d aim my body at the corporate center and try to smash in an executive’s window, all big and flashy the way I like it. You should come with me.”
DJ jerked his head back. “What? Smashing through a window?”
Paul smacked DJ’s shoulder. “No, jack-knob, to New Greene! What do you have keeping you here? Not like you have any plans or a girlfriend or money or friends, besides me, really, or…”

The Ancients and the Moderns

Every new age thinks it has invented the world. So I have now finished watching the Amazon Prime Video series “Modern Love.” All 8 episodes. And I beg your pardon, there are 8 episodes, not 7 as I said in my earlier post about this series. But then I’m so fuddy-duddy, so not in the right place at the right time. But. Besides proof positive for my inkling that according to our culture’s Olympian law-givers in New York City “modern” love ONLY happens in New York City — the modern is always deja vu all over again only there —…

Stupid Cupid?

The cupid in question: The New York Times The artifact in question: Amazon Prime’s ‘Modern Love’ series based on the New York Times’ ‘Modern Love’ column I love NYC. Who doesn’t? It’s a requirement of American coolness. If you don’t, you might be taken for a swamp thing or from another planet. Right? Tell me? BUT. I just finished watching the 5th episode of ‘Amazon’s ‘Modern Love’ series, as I was saying. And guess what? EVERY story is set in New York City. Every character, every mojo, every affect, every quirk — all NYC. Without exception. Granted, maybe episodes 6…

The Daily Path, by my friend Debjani Roysarkar-Gupta, a true hidden talent

These are the days of arid pauses and stricken silence. In these days, my talented girlhood friend Debjani — physician, painter, poet, mother, wife and voyager — has come forth with a truly meditative philosophical fable about where our place is, with or without CORONA. I wanted to share it with my readers and friends who are also, perhaps, struggling to find an aesthetic for mutation, muteness and mutability….without despair. THE DAILY PATH A ticket for a round trip please.Where to?To a gentler caring world, at least for today. The Conductor smiled at the naive request,A word of caution…Co passengers…