In Store, Book Talk
Tuesday, March 1 at 7PM
by Namrata Poddar
in-conversation with Aline Ohanesian
"A masterful writer, bringing time and place to life with vivid story and color and memorable wisdom." -Jill McCorkle, New York Times Bestselling Author of Hieroglyphics
ABOUT THE BOOK
Dia Mittal is an airline call center agent in Mumbai searching for an easier life. As her search takes her to the United States, Dia's check-ered relationship with the American Dream dialogues with the expe-riences and perspectives of a global South Asian community across the class spectrum--call center agents, travel agents, immigrant maids, fashion designers, blue- and white-collar workers in the hospitality industry, junior and senior artists in Bollywood, hustling single mothers, academics, tourists in the Third World, refugees displaced by military superpowers, Marwari merchants and trade caravans of the Silk Road, among others. What connects the novel's web of brown border-crossing characters is their quest for belonging and negotiation of power struggles, mediated by race, class, gender, nationality, age, or place. With its fragmented form, staccato rhythm, repetition, and play with English language, Border Less questions the "mainstream" Western novel and its assumptions of good storytelling.
Border Less was a finalist for The Feminist Press's Louise Meriwether First Book Prize. Chapters from the novel won the Short Story Contest organized by 14th International Conference on the Short Story in English, judged by Bharati Mukherjee and Clark Blaise; the New Asian Writing Prize; and appeared in The Best Asian Short Stories anthology. The opening chapter, in a slightly different form, was published in The Kenyon Review.
Namrata Poddar writes fiction and nonfiction, serves as Interviews Editor for Kweli, and teaches literature as well as creative writing at UCLA. Her work has appeared in several publications including Poets & Writers, Literary Hub, Longreads, The Kenyon Review, Electric Literature, Catapult, and The Best Asian Short Stories. Her debut novel, “Border Less” was a finalist fo Feminist Press’s Meriwhether First Book Award, and featured as The Millions’s “Most Anticipated" books for 2022, Brown Girl Bookshelf's "2022 Books to Read in 2022" and BuzzFeed News’s “16 Upcoming Books from Indie Presses You’ll Love.” Poddar holds a PhD in French literature from the University of Pennsylvania, an MFA in Fiction from Bennington College, and a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship in Transnational Cultures from UCLA. Find her on Twitter, @poddar_namrata, and on Instagram, @writerpoddar.
Aline Ohanesian is the author of Orhan’s Inheritance, a finalist for the Dayton Peace Prize, the PEN Bellwether Award for Socially Engaged Fiction, the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize. She is currently working on her second novel. She lives and writes on Tongva land, in San Juan Capistrano, California.