Featured Interview With Nandini Bhattacharya
Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?
Hi All, I was born and raised in India and have called the United States my second continent for the last thirty years. Wherever I have lived, I've generally turned to books for answers to life’s big and small questions. My short stories have been published in OyeDrum, Meat for Tea: the Valley Review, Storyscape Journal, Raising Mothers, The Bacon Review, The Bangalore Review and Ozone Park Journal. I was 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), and a finalist for the Reynolds-Price International Women’s Literary Award (2019). Love’s Garden is my first novel, releasing on October 27, 2020. I'm working on a second novel titled Homeland Blues. I live outside Houston with my family and two marmalade cats.
At what age did you realize your fascination with books? When did you start writing?
The earliest I can remember is age four. I'm ashamed to say that it took me another thirty years to venture into writing but I'll say in self-defense that I haven't stopped since.
Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read. Who Inspires you in your writings?
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, Jhumpa Lahiri, Jose Luis Borges, Isabel Allende, Leni Zumas, Octavia Butler, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and so many, many more….
Tell us a little about your latest book?
My first and forthcoming novel Love's Garden (Aubade Publishing, October 27, 2020) is a book about women living and rewriting history. It is 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 sacrifices her firstborn child to save herself from ultimate dishonor. She marries a stranger, but her damaged second family pays dearly for this Faustian bargain. Then, an extraordinary atonement, strange liaisons in politics and love — spanning the two world wars and the Indian independence movement — help her descendants heal from this traumatic private history. Love’s Garden demonstrates the strength, resilience, and unbreakable spirit of mothers and daughters navigating layers of oppression, all while the sun is not-so-peacefully setting on British India.
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