I read, write, and edit stories/poems/ articles/genre-bending things-in-between for a living. My debut novel Open Couplets was published by Yoda Press in April 2017. Open Couplets follows the chimera-chasing adventures of ethnographer Ira Chatterjee for a lost idol-maker in Kolkata and a missing poet in Lucknow.
My short stories, articles, and poems have appeared in The Hindu BLink, Himal Southasian, The Ladies Finger, Muse India, Aaduna, Poydras Review, and other venues. In the past, I have worked as a a freelance writer for The Times of India’s Kolkata Mirror, a web portal of Network 18, and as a coordinator for The Statesman Voices. At present, I am the Associate Editor of Papercuts published by the Desi Writers’ Lounge.
I am also a PhD candidate in the department of English at Ohio State University, specializing in media studies and 20th/21st century Anglophone literature, films, and comics from the US, UK, Canada, and South Asia. In my dissertation, Books in ‘looking-glass hands’: Experientiality in post-1980s Multimodal Literature, I examine the visual-verbal and visual-tactile “materials” such as handwriting, typeface, and paper, used to design North American and British multimodal literary books since the 1980s (eg: Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, S., Nox, Woman’s World). I show that the formal design of these books promote readerly engagement and interactions in ways that reveal as well as challenge our culture’s dominant assumptions about (post)human perception and cognition. I theorize the qualitative experience of “presence” in order to account for our sensory entanglements with reading and writing interfaces. My analysis combines rhetorical and cognitive approaches to literature, multimodality studies, media and narrative theories.
My scholarly articles have appeared or are forthcoming in journals such as Storyworlds, Media-N, Twentieth and Twenty-first Century Literature, South Asian Review, and Post Script.
When I am not writing or reading, I am usually performing (dancing/acting) or thinking about writing, dancing, or acting. Growing up in India, I was trained in the Kathak dance form and now, in the US, I participate in performances that bring together contemporary South Asian dance forms and English poetry. I have collaborated with graduate students from several departments across OSU to adapt my poems “Herstories” and “Vermillion” for dance performances. Here too I am interested in multimodal forms—the sensory and cognitive experiences activated through the combination of gestures (mudra) and language.
Through both my creative and scholarly work, I explore the relation of literary or art “forms” with the aesthetic experience they can offer, the meanings they can convey, and the possibility of sharing these experiences and meanings across various communities. The spatial layouts of places and objects also attract me and I often find myself thinking through spaces in my fictions, poems, and research.