Then, when my sons were in the NICU, I had a lightning-bolt moment. Life was short and unpredictable. I couldn’t just sit around and think about how someday I’d write a bunch of books. I realized that I didn’t really know that much about writing, but I knew that it was an art, and I knew how to be a working artist.
The twenties are abundant with fascinating social, political, and economic issues and upheavals! So often, the first images that come to mind with “The Roaring Twenties” are glitzy flapper girls in cities, with jazz playing in the background. There’s nothing wrong with exploring that part of the era, but as I studied the decade, I was struck by how different life was in rural areas.
It was complicated being written about as a child. When your parent writes about you, there’s a bizarre thing that happens that feels like ownership, like somehow your parent owns that story. Because they have more facility with language and more knowledge when they write, they get to tell their version of a story that may have been partially or completely your story. And that’s hard.
I had my kids in my late thirties, so I had built a life as an independent adult woman who answered to no one; in profound ways, both my body and my life as I knew them had to be split open, broken, and relinquished, at least for a while, in order to step into the role of mother.
Rudri Bhatt Patel
I hope the Yasmin series will be a sort of permission for South Asian kids to be themselves. Kids like mine often feel torn between two cultures. Their heritage and background are different from where they find themselves now as first-generation kids, and there is a tension that’s so burdensome and unfair.
Having the intense physical beauty of the islands juxtaposed with the naked violence against women became extremely important to me because it helped me show the shattering of that stereotypical tropical island. Here are real people who you find all over the world, here are their stories that have long been unheard. Listen.
We publish profiles of writers who are mothers, writers who write about motherhood, and writers who have something to say to mothers. This includes well-known, living mama writers, of course, but also off-beat, lesser-known, not-so-obvious mama writers. Read more here.