Sunday, 19 February 2012

Authors and Artists for Young -Tanuja Desai Hidier

Tanuja Desai Hidier is a second-generation Indian American whose novelBorn Confused tells a coming-of-age story of a young girl living in suburban New Jersey. The novel has won several awards as well as the attention of many in the Indian-American community.
Desai Hidier was born in Boston and grew up in Wilbraham, Massachusetts. "It was a sanctuary of trees and fields and apple orchards and dogs on no leashes and safe trick-or-treating," the author explained in an interview on her Web site. Her parents had come to America from India and settled in Massachusetts. The young Desai Hidier showed an early interest in written expression. "I began writing poems at age six for fun and turned to fiction at 10 or 11," she explained in an interview for the News India Times. "I realized that I could best express myself through writing, so I kept it up." Speaking to Preeti Thandi in an online interview for My, she recounted: "When I was little I dreamed of being a writer--one of the reasons possibly being that I loved to read and the other being that sheer transporting power of putting pen to paper." After attending Brown University, Desai Hidier worked for a time as a freelance journalist, contributing to magazines and Web 'zines in New York City. She also took fiction-writing workshops, wrote short stories, and made videos, including The Test, which won an award from the Sinking Creek Film and Video Festival in 1996. These efforts helped her to clarify the kind of fiction she wanted to write: stories about the experience of second-generation Asians in the United States.
Through a friend, Desai Hidier was scheduled to meet an editor at Scholastic to discuss what she thought was possible copyediting work. The editor thought they were going to discuss her novel. Since she did not have a novel, but knew an opportunity when she saw it, Desai Hidier began discussing an idea she had for a novel. "I said I was interested in doing an Indian-American coming-of-age story," she recalled to the News India Times. "He was immediately very excited about the idea and said that was a book he'd never seen and he'd love to help get it onto the bookshelf." It took some five months to put together an outline and sample chapters, then another four months to finish writing the nearly three-hundred-page novel.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

meet desilicious writer amp59 musician tanuja hidier
She's the new-age desi girl. Tanuja Desai Hidier's first novel Born Confused - the first-ever South Asian American coming-of-age story - was a Larry King pick of the week. Not only that, her book got translated into Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, Italian, and German. And now, she's turning it into a movie. Meet the desilicious writer and musician.

A creatve highTanuja also wanted to tell her desi story to the world in her short stories -  Desilicious anthology. "I’ve been writing for a long time. I started writing poems when I was six and kept on for years after. When I was 10 and then 11, I wrote two mystery books, around 100 pages each. Born Confused was my way of writing about how positive it is to have desi heroes and heroines from the diaspora. I wanted to shape a period of cultural confusion and cultural exhilaration. I wanted to find out - What does it mean to be Indian? To be South Asian? To be American? And at the heart of that: To be yourself? I also wanted to redefine the C in ABCD - the term 'American Born Confused Desi' - because there certainly are people who are unsure about their cultural identity."

Pop divaHer short film, The Test (which she wrote and directed), deals with many of the same cultural assimilation issues as her fiction. The Test has screened at the Tribeca Film Center and as part of the 19th Asian American International Film Festival, as well as at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. and as part of Toronto's Desh Pardesh festival.

"I'm a creative dreamer. My icons are Michael Ondaatje, Haruki Murakami, Banana Yoshimoto, Siri Hustevdt, Graham Greene, Dickens, Enid Blyton, Edwidge Danticat, Marcel Pagnol, Cormac McCarthy, Marquez, Julia Alvarez, Pablo Neruda. I admire No Doubt,  Fiona Apple, Blondie,  Sheryl Crow, U2, Liz Phair, Hole, Sparklehorse, Norah Jones, Joni Mitchell and Stevie Nicks. All my icons made me believe dreams can come true."

Musical soulHer music keeps her on the go. "The London-based melodic rock band I’m singing/writing in is currently working on a set of original songs based on the novel - songs to a psychic soundtrack." But it's the thing for `desi' that keeps her on the go. "We're having a 'desi pride’ movement. That's why I've developed my book into a play and film."

Tanuja loves living in London. "My family and friends make me really happy. They help me seek peace through creativity."