Dear Readers, Friends, guess who said, “The life of the arts, far from being an interruption, a distraction in the life of the nation, is very close to the center of a nation’s purpose – and it is the test of the quality of a nation’s civilization”?
In that spirit, I have the pleasure of sharing the following new works of art by wonderful writers, with reviews and associated events for their powerful voices:
Truly epochal poet Usha Akella’s
most recent book of poems
As Rumi said, ‘The would is where the light comes in,’ and in Usha Akella’s work ‘A Poem Can Glisten Like a Fresh Wound. . . .’
And I also have the joy of eagerly pointing you to novelist Farzana Doctor’s very amazing 4th novel
“Doctor’s depiction of South Asian family life and the ties between diaspora and homeland is unerring and insightful”
Hard to believe that Love’s Garden is now over six months already. Have you found your copy yet? You can, at
Reviewers hail it as “wonderfully dense and wise,” “gripping,” “a journey into India’s complex past” and “what women will do to protect those they love” — an epic saga of Indian women living through a century of war and decolonization
Yes, I would be thrilled to bits if you happen to enjoy Love’s Garden and just happen to toss off a smiling review on Amazon.com or Goodreads.com owning up to it!
The itty bitties:
Folks, I was born and raised in India and have called the United States my second continent for the last thirty-odd years. Wherever I’ve lived, I’ve generally turned to books for the answers to life’s questions, big or small (that includes philosophy and recipes). My first novel Love’s Garden was published in October 2020. Some nice people have said some nice things about it (Buzzfeed; Medium.com; Foreword Reviews; Goodreads). I’m currently finishing my second novel about about Caste and Hindutva politics in Narendra Modi’s India and love, racism, xenophobia and other mysteries in Donald Trump’s America, titled Homeland Blues.
My short stories have been published or will be in Oyster River Pages, Saturday Evening Post Best Short Stories from the Great American Fiction Contest Anthology 2021 (forthcoming 2021), the Good Cop/Bad Cop Anthology (Flowersong Press, 2021), the Gardan Anthology of the Craigardan Artists Residency, Funny Pearls, The Bombay Review, Meat for Tea: the Valley Review, Storyscape Journal, Raising Mothers, The Bangalore Review, OyeDrum, and more. I’ve attended the Bread Loaf Writers’ Workshop, the Vermont Studio Center residency, the VONA residency, Centrum Writer’s Residency, and others. I was first runner-up for the Los Angeles Review Flash Fiction contest (2017-2018), long-listed for the Disquiet International Literary Prize (2019 and 2020), a finalist for the Reynolds-Price International Women’s Literary Award (2019), and received Honorable Mention for the Saturday Evening Post Great American Stories Contest, 2021.
In a related avatar, I’m Professor of English at Texas A&M University, USA and teach and write about English literature, South Asia Studies, Indian Cinema, Postcolonial Studies, Colonial Discourse Analysis, Gender Theory, Film Studies, and Critical Theory. I founded and directed (2007-2017) the South Asia Working Group of the Glasscock Humanities Center at Texas A&M University, and rom 2012 -2014 directed the Graduate Studies program of the English department at Texas A&M University. I’ve published three academic monographs and many articles on film, world literature, feminism and visual culture, colonial and postcolonial discourse analyses of literature from the eighteenth century onwards, gender in South Asia, and travel writing. I’ve received grants and fellowships from the Huntington Library Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellowship, the Regional Worlds Program of the Globalization Project (Ford Foundation) at the Chicago Humanities Institute, the Lilly Foundation, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Workshop, the Vermont Studio Center, VONA, the Centrum Artists Residency, and the Craigardan Writers Residency (forthcoming).
I love (because I read!) Jhumpa Lahiri, Megha Majumdar, Amitav Ghosh, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, Jose Sarmago, Salman Rushdie, and last but not least, Chimamanda Adichie.
I was sighted at these spots recently:
Invited Workshop and Reading with a focus on Love’s Garden at Dev Samaj College for Women, Panjab University, India, February 2, 2021
Book Launch at Brazos Bookstore, Houston, TX, Oct 27, 2020, 7–8 PM CST
Podcasts: Desi Books Episode 21
Interviews: Nandini Bhattacharya speaks on “Tell Me Your Story” Digital Conversation, April 10, 2021, 8 am CDT, on MONEY/MOOLAH/THAT THING THAT THEY SAY MAKES THE WORLD GO AROUND, and Colonialism, Gender and Writing; Oyedrum; Lois Lane Investigates; Tupelo Quarterly; Critical Flame