Origins Podcast

Origins: The International Writing Program Podcast is an interview series with writers from around the world addressing the origins of their creative works, the literary and social cultures in which they write, and the art of language.


Origins: The International Writing Program Podcast

February 15, 2017 | Ameena Hussein | 32:36

Host Christopher Merrill talks with Sri Lankan writer Ameena Hussein about Hussein’s novel, The Moon in the Water, and its strong female protagonist. They also discuss Hussein’s sociological research on migrant Muslim women in Los Angeles, and Hussein’s role as co-founder of the Perera Hussein Publishing House.

Ameena HUSSEIN is a writer and co-founder of the Perera Hussein Publishing House which has established itself as the frontrunner for cutting edge Sri Lankan fiction from emerging and established Sri Lankan writers. Her novel The Moon in the Water was longlisted for the Man Asian Literary Award and the Dublin IMPAC Prize. Her first short story collection Fifteen was shortlisted for the Gratiaen Prize in 1999 and her second collection of short stories Zillij won the State Literary Prize in 2005. She has also edited three collections of children’s stories and a collection of stories for adults. Now she is currently at work on a novel.

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Origins: The International Writing Program Podcast

January 8, 2017 | Vivek Shanbhag | 28:56

Host Christopher Merrill talks with Indian writer Vivek Shanbhag about Shanbhag’s novel, Ghachar Ghochar, and the challenges of writing a story set in a rapidly changing society. They also discuss the ways memory can be built into language and the Indian writer who had an early influence on Shanbhag’s work.

Vivek SHANBHAG (fiction writer, playwright; India), engineer by training, is the author of two plays, five short-story collections and three novels. His writing has appeared in Granta, Seminar, and Indian Literature; his most recent novel, Ghachar Ghochar, appeared in English in 2016. He writes in Kannada, and is the founder of the literary magazine Desha Kaala. His participation is made possible by the William B. Quarton Fund through the Cedar Rapids Community Foundation and the U.R. Ananthamurthy Fund for Karnataka Culture through the University of Iowa.

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