who had self-published her work with one of the world’s largest self-publishingcompanies,
. She had recommended that I try
and here I am,self-published. I do
wish to discourage anyone from going through the process of finding a literary agent and having his/her work published traditionally. In fact, I pray thatan aspiring author takes advantage of the experience that the literary world provides of searching for an agent. In the near future, for my successive projects, I may try this process again.
Q: Writers belonging to Indian Diaspora in the West are making their presence felt.Why do you think Bangladeshi-origin Americans or British are not taking upwriting as a career? Do you think Bangladeshi-origin writers have potential of having a place in world literature? Apart from you, are any more Bangladeshi-Americans writing?
Ans: I believe there are many Bangladeshis breaking into the world of writing in mediaand books. In fact, my aunt, Dr. Najma Chowdhury of Dhaka University, wrote in andedited
Women and Politics Worldwide
, published under Yale University Press New Havenand London. She gifted me with the book when I was ten-years-old. At the time, I had yetto fully understand the value of such an accomplishment. It was an achievement after much diligence. Diligence is the key to any endeavor, especially when it comes towriting. When one has a literary idea, it is important that he/she wakes up every morning,excited to continue the project by writing the next paragraph, stanza, or chapter. It is alsoimportant to have one’s peers, teachers, and other professionals look over the work inorder to help further it to its best potential. These are your readers, critics, and mentors.There is plenty of room in literature or media for Bangladeshi writers in any part of theworld; it just takes dedication, diligence and sometimes, a bit of struggle.
Q: Is the new generation of Bangladeshi Diaspora becoming totally American?
Ans: I always say that there are three aspects that may shape the person one becomes: the parents, friends, and/or personal will. In most cases, from what I have seen and personally experienced, there is a struggle when growing up as a Bangladeshi-Americanand trying to maintain the Bengali culture, while adapting to the American environment.William Faulkner, who wrote
The Sound and the Fury
As I Lay Dying
, said, “Writewhat you know.” Such struggles in life are the experiences which shape what theBangladeshi Diaspora in the United States has to offer to the literary world.
Q: From this distance, how would you portray Bangladesh if you ever write a novelin Bangladeshi backdrop?
Her Feet Chime
takes place in Bangladesh. In order to create this setting, I journeyed through my personal memories of the times I had visited Bangladesh as achild, I asked my parents questions, and I did research on the web.
Q: Have you ever considered writing a novel in the backdrop of 9/11? What wouldyou write, then?