I was born and raised in India and have called the United States my second continent for the last thirty 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. My work has been published or will be in Oyster 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 have attended the Bread Loaf Writers' Workshop and been accepted for residencies at the Vermont Studio Center, VONA, Centrum Writer’s Residency, and the Ragdale Artist’s Residency (forthcoming), among others. My awards include first runner-up for the Los Angeles Review Flash Fiction contest (2017-2018), a finalist for the Fourth River Folio Contest for Prose Prize (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 Honorable Mention for the Saturday Evening Post Great American Stories Contest, 2021. I'm currently working on Homeland Blues, my second novel, about love, caste, colorism and violent religious fundamentalism in India, and racism and xenophobia in post-Donald Trump America. My favorite authors include Jhumpa Lahiri, Toni Morrison, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, Salman Rushdie, Jose Saramago, Chimamanda Adichie and Voltaire. I am also a Professor of English at Texas A&M University. My fields of scholarly expertise are South Asia Studies, Indian Cinema, Postcolonial Studies and Colonial Discourse Analysis, Women’s Studies, and Creative Writing. I have published three scholarly books on these subjects, the latest being Hindi Cinema: Repeating the Subject (Routledge 2012).
Love's Garden, a novel
1898. India is ruled by the British. India’s women are ruled by British masters as well as Indian men. A young widow sacrifices her firstborn child to save herself from the ultimate dishonor. She marries a stranger, but her damaged second family pays the price for this Faustian bargain until extraordinary atonement and strange liaisons in politics, love, and war during the two world wars and the Indian independence movement help her descendants heal from this traumatic private history.
https://aubadepublishing.com/books/loves-garden/ (Code Premlata fr free shipping)
Awards and Recognition
- First runner-up for the Los Angeles Review Flash Fiction contest (2017-2018), a finalist for the Fourth River Folio Contest for Prose Prize (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 a finalist for the Saturday Evening Post Great American Stories Contest, 2021.
Press and Media Mentions
- Authors Guild Author Spotlight
- BlogSpot with Deborah Kalb
- Tupelo Quarterly
- Foreword Reviews
- Panel keynote on "Tell Me Your Story" Digital Conversation, June 5, 2021, 9:30 AM CST, on Floods, Suffering, Message and Context in Indian Filmography, (Safari or Chrome preferred) in association with Environmental Humanities Center, Amsterdam—this involves Scope research project student Aditi Thakur, Westview High School Senior, Portland OR
- Buzzfeed: 15 Books from Smaller Presses You Won't be Able to Put Down
- Press Release for Love's Garden (out on October 27, 2020)
- YouTube appearances
- Antonym Magazine