Friday, July 3, 2015

The Writer's Backstory - Tanushree Ghosh

Happy July! As spring has morphed into a cool,wet summer here in Pittsburgh, I have found myself quite enveloped in family time, including birthday celebrations and mini vacations.  I've been taking advantage of the snippets of warmth and sunshine by floating around in our swimming pool.     Several beautiful books have found their way onto my Kindle. And yes, I have carved out a few minutes here and there to write.

Seeking quiet within the noise of summer break is like searching for a lost diamond earring in the pool. Precious writing time is elusive. Still, I try to shut out the slap of the kids' flip-flops as they travel through the halls. I grab hold of  moments in between endless snack-making and camp-driving, even if it's only enough time to scribble (or tap) some notes into my iPhone. Memories of an inspiring three-day writers conference in New York City urge me forward in pursuit of my dreams.

Months after the Algonkian NY Pitch conference, the writers of group C are beginning to see the fruits of our labors. Some of us are on our way to finding the right agent to represent our writing. Others continue to edit and plug away on our manuscripts, utilizing the professional advice and education we received at the conference in March. Today, I am excited to introduce another talented Algonkian writer - Tanushree Ghosh, who has recently been hired to write for Huffington Post! Congratulations Tanu!

Currently working for Intel Corporation as an engineer and engineering manager, Tanu is a mother, an activist, an artist and a writer.  Her education has been primarily in the STEM fields (She has a PhD in Material Science and Chemistry from Cornell University and has worked at the Brookhaven National Laboratories) but she has pursued ‘the arts' defiantly throughout her life and continues to do so. She is an active and past member of several international NGOs and is currently working to open her organization - Her Rights  - to facilitate resource mobilization for women in need.  Her blog posts and stories are in effort to provoke thoughts towards social issues, especially issues concerning women. Immigration and related acculturation is also of close interest to her. The latter is the topic of her first book. She is also a blogger for the Huffington Post.

1. Tell me about yourself. What kind of writing do you do - novels, poetry, screenplays, etc.... When did you start writing and why?

I started with an essay, and then moved to fiction, from what I understand my pieces would fall into the ‘literary’ genre there and now have started contributing to Huffington post as a blogger with mostly essays.  I haven’t ventured into writing a novel yet, but definitely plan to someday. 

2. What are you currently working on?

My biggest project now is my first book, literary fiction, collection of connected cohesive short stories. You can think of the manuscript to be similar in model to recent works like Olive Kitteridge and The Twelve Tribes of Hattie. The collection depicts stories of 10 individuals who choose to immigrate to the US are linked to explore the complexities of human ambition placed against the nuances of acculturation. It is titled ‘Under The Seventh Tree.'

3. Do you outline, or do you write by the seat of your pants?

I definitely outline – when I started I took some online courses available through the writing program at MIT which taught me a lot on how to think of an event or a character as a seed and then develop around that. I usually start with an idea, which comes to my head mostly when I am driving interestingly, develop the seed, outline what can happen and then put it to paper (or rather computer to be accurate).

4. What was your impression of the Algonkian Pitch conference, and how did it specifically help you in your journey as a writer?

What I found of most value from the conference is the people I met there. You guys, our Algonkian 14 team, Susan, Michael, Paula – it was a support that had been previously missing for me. Also, unlike a previous conference attended, the sheer size being smaller made for an ambience which was very nurturing and encouraging. 

5. Top 5 books you've read?

God of Small Things, Nandita Naroke (In Bengali, By Late Humayan Ahmed), The City of Joy, Everything by Agatha Christie.

6. Where to find you?

My personal website is, twitter: @thoughtsnrights, I also guest blog for Huffington Post so you can search by my name on Huff Post and get to my blogger archive. 

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