Seeking Fortunes Elsewhere ~ Sindya Bhanoo


Travelling from Pittsburgh to Washington to Tamil Nadu, these astonishing 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. Sindya Bhanoo’s haunting stories show us how immigrants’ paths, and the paths of those they leave behind, are never simple. Bhanoo takes us along on their complicated journeys where regret, hope, and triumph appear in disguise.

Sindya Bhanoo’s fiction has appeared in GrantaNew England ReviewGlimmer 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 lives in Corvallis, Oregon and teaches at Oregon State University.

Further reading

Read: Amma, Granta

Review: Seeking Fortune Elsewhere, Harvard Review

Prompt: Begin with the line ‘My mother never…’ and free write for 10 mins.

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