Brave the Elements: Nature as Setting
Allen C Jones, Rahman Abbas, Sumathy aka Thamizhachi Thangapandian with Deepti Navaratna
Allen C Jones
Award-winning California writer Allen C. Jones has an MFA in poetry from the University of New Mexico and a PhD in English from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He presently serves as associate professor of literature at the University of Stavanger in Norway. His novel Her Death Was Also Water is forthcoming from MidnightSun Publishing, and his fiction and poetry appear widely in print and online, most recently at Plume and Mudlark. Find more of his work at allencjones.com.
Rahman Abbas is a major contemporary novelist and winner of India’s highest literary award, the Sahitya Akademi award, for the year 2018, for his fourth novel, Rohzin. He has also won two state Sahitya Akademi awards. When his first novel was published, Islamists accused him of spreading obscenity through his work and filed a case against his novel. Rahman fought the case for over ten years and was acquitted in 2016 of obscenity charges.
Rahman is the author of nine books, including five novels. Rohzin, has been translated into German, English, and Hindi. The German translation was discussed in Switzerland as part of ‘The Days of Indian Literature’ in February 2018, and in May-June 2018, Rahman toured various cities in Germany to discuss the novel with readers. The novel has also received the prestigious LitProm Grant managed by the Swiss and German governments. The Penguin India Random House published Rohzin in English in May 2022 and the novel was longlisted for the JCB Prize.
Sumathy aka Thamizhachi Thangapandian
Former Lecturer (Senior Grade), Department of English, Queen Mary’s College (Autonomous) affiliated to The University of Madras, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.
Acclaimed as a Tamil poet, her areas of interest include post –colonial literatures (especially Sri Lankan and Australian), diasporic literatures (especially Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora), translation, criticism and performing arts (Tamil Theatre).
Currently, she is a Member of Parliament (DMK), Chennai South Constituency, Tamil Nadu, India.
Dr. Deepti Navaratna is a musician-neuroscientist-author whose interests span the arts, science and history. An accomplished South Indian Classical musician, her music has been presented at premiere performing spaces in the United States such as Asia Society (NewYork City), Symphony Space (New York City), Jordan Hall (Boston), Harvard Arts Museum (Cambridge), Museum of Fine Arts (Boston), Yale School of music (New Haven, CT), Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) Srilanka, Central Conservatory, Beijing and Tsing Hua University, Taiwan among others. In a parallel avatar, she studies music as a fascinating window to the brain, mind, human cognition and culture – as the T.V.Raman Pai Chair Professor at the National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore. Deepti holds a doctorate degree in Neuroscience, after several years of post-doctoral research at Harvard Medical School, USA, her current research interests span the interdisciplinary crossovers between music and neuroscience. She is a Chevening Clore Fellow (2021–22) and holds the distinction of being the first Indian woman to have performed at the Parliament of World Religions in 2021. Until recently she served as the Regional Director, Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA), Ministry of Culture, Government of India, Bengaluru, India. Her foray into the world of words is through her book: ‘The Maverick Maharaja’ – the definitive biography of the Maharaja of Mysore Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar, published by Harper Collins India in 2022.
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