March 26, 2009
V.V. Ganeshananthan will read from 'Love Marriage' April 7
University of Iowa Writers' Workshop alumna V.V. Ganeshananthan will read from her new novel, "Love Marriage," at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 7, in the Prairie Lights bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City. The "Live from Prairie Lights" series event will be streamed live and then archived on the UI Writing University Web site, http://writinguniversity.uiowa.edu.
Ganeshananthan is both a fiction writer and a journalist. After receiving her Master of Fine Arts degree in fiction from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, she earned a master's degree from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, where she was a Bollinger Fellow specializing in arts and culture journalism.
She has written and reported for the Atlantic Monthly, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the Chronicle of Higher Education, Sepia Mutiny and the American Prospect. She is a board member and former vice president of the South Asian Journalists Association, and a member of the graduate board of the Harvard Crimson.
"Love Marriage" depicts a globe-scattered Sri Lankan family for which there are two kinds of marriages -- arranged marriages and love marriages. Yalini, the daughter of Sri Lankan immigrants who left their collapsing country and married in America, finds herself caught between the history of her ancestors and her own modern world.
But when she is summoned to Toronto to help care for her dying uncle, Kumaran, a former member of the militant Tamil Tigers, she is forced to see that violence is not a relic of the Sri Lankan past, but very much a part of her western present.
While Kumaran's loved ones gather around him to say goodbye, Yalini traces her family's roots -- and the conflicts facing them as ethnic Tamils -- through a series of marriages. Now, as Kumaran's death and his daughter's politically motivated nuptials edge closer, in the tradition of her family, Yalini too must decide where she stands.
A review in New York Mazagine called the book "an ambitious family drama about an underreported part of the world, filled with well-shaded characters [and a] gorgeous flourish," and a Washington Post Book World review described it as "surprisingly feminine and fablelike in its inquiry into chilling moral choices . . . (S)ome lines are as evocative as forgotten tunes."
The Writers' Workshop is a graduate program in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
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STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500