Monday, September 27, 2010

Two worlds collide in Tania James's fiction

When Tania James writes she travels, navigating between her parents' birthplace in India and the United States where the young author has spent most of her life, she told AFP.

Atlas of Unknowns, her first novel, shuttles constantly between India and New York, as she explained in an interview at the Fiction America literary festival at Vincennes, just outside Paris.

Does she think of herself as Indian or American? Born in the 1970s in Chicago, James grew up in Louisville in Kentucky and a few months ago moved to Washington with her husband.

"India is always there, with me", she said, likely with Kerala in mind. But on the American side, "It's more a regional identity, rather than a national one. Kentucky, this is my home."

When the Harvard university graduate lived in New York, she always asked herself whether she felt like a New Yorker, but decided "definitely not".

"I'm not an American in a patriotic way. My parents are much more patriotic." Her father, the eldest in a family of seven children, is a doctor and nearly all her family has joined her in the United States.

Full report here AFP

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