Thursday, October 16, 2008

Know our people - Vasugi V. Ganeshananthan

Vasugi V. Ganeshananthan, a fiction writer and journalist, lives in New York. She is a 2002 graduate of Harvard College. In 2005, she received an MFA in fiction from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and in 2005-2006, she was the Bennett Fellow and writer-in-residence at Phillips Exeter Academy.

In 2007, she graduated from the new MA program at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, where she was a Bollinger Fellow specializing in Arts & Culture journalism. She has written and reported for The Atlantic Monthly, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Sepia Mutiny, and The American Prospect, among others. She is the vice president of the South Asian Journalists Association and a member of the graduate board of The Harvard Crimson.

This fall, she is a writer-in-residence at Skidmore College. Random House published her first novel, Love Marriage, in April.

About the Novel - Love Marriage

"In this globe-scattered Sri Lankan family, we speak only of two kinds of marriage. The first is the Arranged Marriage. The second is the Love Marriage. In reality, there is a whole spectrum in between, but most of us spend years running away from the first towards the second"

Yalini, the daughter of Sri Lankan immigrants who left their collapsing country and married in America, finds herself caught between the history of her ancestors and her own modern world. But when she is summoned to Toronto to help care for her dying uncle, Kumaran, a former member of the militant Tamil Tigers, she is forced to see that violence is not a relic of the Sri Lankan past, but very much a part of her Western present.

While Kumaran's loved ones gather around him to say goodbye, Yalini traces her family's roots—and the conflicts facing them as ethnic Tamils—through a series of marriages. Now, as Kumaran's death and his daughter's politically motivated nuptials edge closer, in the tradition of her family, Yalini too must decide where she stands.

Lyrical and innovative, V. V. Ganeshananthan's novel brilliantly unfolds how a new generation of war both forms and fractures families.

Praise for Love Marriage
"Ganeshananthan has created a slow-burning and beautifully written debut in Love Marriage. It is an evocative examination of Sri Lankan cultural mores, and the way one family is affected by love and war."
—The Financial Times

"Innovative….this is an ambitious family drama about an underreported part of the world, filled with well-shaded characters [and] gorgeous flourish…Buy it."
—New York Magazine

"...Love Marriage is surprisingly feminine and fable-like in its inquiry into chilling moral choices... some lines are as evocative as forgotten tunes..."
—Washington Post Book World

" its best and simplest, Ganeshananthan can be profoundly moving. She captures the pain of exile poignantly."
—The San Francisco Chronicle

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