Yesterday, the South Asia National Outreach Consortium (SANOC) announced that Maya is the winner of the 2017 South Asia Book Award for Grades 5 and Under!
I am ecstatic about this news, which connects Maya with libraries and schools across the United States, and more specifically connects the book with young children of the South Asian community. I was once a young child in that community, and except for Tanuja Desai Hidier’s Born Confused, never once read a book for young people that featured South Asian characters, so this is both an award for my young self and for Maya.
The South Asia Book Award for Grades 6 and Up went to What Elephants Know by Eric Dinerstein (Disney-Hyperion), a novel about a young elephant driver set in a jungle in the Nepalese Borderlands. And the Honor Books shortlist includes The Boy and the Bindi by fellow Canadian Vivek Shreya!
I’ll be heading to Lansing, Michigan, in October for the award ceremony, following a tour of schools and libraries in the area. I look forward to meeting the team that made the award possible!
Andrea Bennett, Editor-in-Chief at Maisonneuve, interviewed me about Maya for the magazine’s blog, where I talk a bit about the relationship between images and text, from the writer’s perspective. Check it out here.
Maisonneuve is a very cool Montreal-based magazine. In their own words: “Maisonneuve has been described as a new New Yorker for a younger generation, or as Harper’s meets Vice, or as Vanity Fair without the vanity—but Maisonneuve is its own creature. Maisonneuve‘s purpose is to keep its readers informed, alert, and entertained, and to dissolve artistic borders between regions, countries, languages and genres.”
Usually, children’s books are ignored by literary magazines. Here’s to Maisonneuve dissolving artistic borders!
Christopher Evans, the Prose Editor at PRISM international, interviewed me for the magazine’s website. His questions were incisive, so I sound like I know what I am talking about. Really grateful to him for giving me some room to think about sound, grief, and circumstances beyond our control, not just in reference to “Rohan, Rohan, Rohini!” (now available in Issue 55.2) but my other stories as well.
Check out the interview here.
Last year was a flurry of activity, with the publication of Maya and the Journey Prize long list. It has been a while, though, since I have published a short story. My last was “In Transit,” in Humber Literary Review, back in Spring 2016.
So I am delighted to see my short story “Rohan, Rohan, Rohini!” in PRISM international‘s latest issue. PRISM is a magazine I greatly admire. It’s affiliated with UBC’s MFA in Creative Writing program; the editors are students in the program. And they have a history of consistent and excellent taste. The Journey Prize winning story of 2016 was published in PRISM.
I’m especially grateful to Christopher Evans, the current Fiction Editor at PRISM, who shepherded this story through to publication.
This year, I published my first book. It didn’t really hit me at the time of publication what a milestone that was or how significant, but it’s finally starting to sink in. The book has been fortunate to receive some lovely end-of-year attention:
I am grateful to end the year on a positive note. The world is quaking a bit, but stories continue to offer solace.
Earlier this year, I was privileged to have my short story “The Origin of Jaanvi” included in the 2016 Journey Prize Anthology. As a bonus, I was invited to attend the annual Writers’ Trust Gala, a fundraising event that brings together “business and arts communities.” It was a dazzling evening. All the writers were given a medal to wear as a form of identification and to keep as a pretty cool memorabilia. It was the first (and probably the last) medal I’ve ever received! Plus, I got a photo with Margaret Atwood.
At the ceremony, Miriam Toews was awarded the $50,000 Writers’ Trust Fellowship. You can read more about all the things the Writers’ Trust does; many writing careers have been launched as a result of its funding and support. Yasuko Thanh, who was recently awarded the Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, started her career with the Journey Prize and continued it with the support of the Woodcock Fund, both sponsored by the Writers’ Trust.