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

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

How to write a historical novel and (maybe) not be in it — Dr. Nandini Bhattacharya reading from and talking about her novel Love’s Garden (2020)


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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 working on Homeland Blues, my second novel, about love, colorism, racism and xenophobia in post-Donald Trump America.

My short stories have been published or will be in inOyster River Pages, Sky Island Journal, the Saturday Evening Post Best Short Stories from the Great American Fiction Contest Anthology 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, PANK, 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. The latest of these is Hindi Cinema: Repeating the Subject (Routledge 2012). 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, and the Lilly Foundation.

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:

Featured Panelist on “Shapes of History” panel, 3rd Tasveer South Asian LitFest (TSAL), part of

Tasveer Festival: Watch, Read, Talk; October 1st-24th, 2021; also available here with a ticket or pass; October 19th, 2021, 9 pm CST

Featured Reading of Love’s Garden, Bright Hill Press Reading, July 8, 2021

Invited Reading at Lit Balm: an Interactive Livestream Reading Series, February 27, 2021

Invited Workshop and Reading with a focus on Love’s Garden at Dev Samaj College for Women, Panjab University, India, February 2, 2021

Featured Reading from Love’s Garden in the Hidden Timber Book Reading Series, January 24, 2021

Reading from Love’s Garden at Readings on the Pike, December 10, 2020, 7-8 PM EST

Reading at the KGB Bar, New York City, Nov 15, 2020, 7-9 PM EST

Reading at the Lighthouse Writers Workshop, Nov 13, 6-7 PM CST

Book Launch at Brazos Bookstore, Houston, TX, Oct 27, 2020, 7–8 PM CST

Cambridge Writers Workshop and IEE Benefit Reading, July 24, 8-9 PM:

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

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