We are excited to welcome the winner of this year's Oregon Book Award for Fiction, Sindya Bhanoo, as we celebrate the launch of the paperback edition of her award-winning fiction collection Seeking Fortune Elsewhere. Sindya will be joined in conversation by Jyothi Natarajan. The book's intimate stories of South Indian immigrants and the families they left behind center women's lives and ask how women both claim and surrender power--a stunning debut collection. Traveling from Pittsburgh to Eastern Washington to Tamil Nadu, these stories about dislocation and dissonance see immigrants and their families confront the costs of leaving and staying, identifying sublime symmetries in lives growing apart. In "Malliga Homes," selected by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie for an O. Henry Prize, a widow in a retirement community glimpses her future while waiting for her daughter to visit from America. In "No. 16 Model House Road," a woman long subordinate to her husband makes a choice of her own after she inherits a house. In "Nature Exchange," a mother grieving in the wake of a school shooting finds an unusual obsession. In "A Life in America," a professor finds himself accused of having exploited his graduate students.
In addition to the Oregon Book Award, Seeking Fortune Elsewhere won the 2022 New American Voices Award, was a finalist for the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Shorty Story Collection, and was longlisted for both The Story Prize and the Carnegie Medal for Excellence.
Sindya's fiction has appeared in Granta, New England Review, Glimmer Train, and other publications. She is the recipient of an O. Henry Award, the DISQUIET Prize, an Elizabeth George Foundation grant. and scholarships from the Bread Loaf and Sewanee writers' conferences. A longtime newspaper reporter, she has worked for The New York Times and The Washington Post. She is a graduate of the Michener Center for Writers, the University of California, Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, and Carnegie Mellon University. She currently lives in Corvallis and teaches at Oregon State University.
Jyothi Natarajan is an editor, writer, and cultural worker based in Portland. She is on staff at Haymarket Books, where she runs the Writing Freedom Fellowship. She is also a co-editor and collaborator with De-Canon, a literary social practice, publishing, and library art project centering works by BIPOC writers and artists.