This blog was featured on 05/02/2019
May Guest Editor: Devi S. Laskar
Contributor
Written by
She Writes
May 2019
Contributor
Written by
She Writes
May 2019

This month we are featuring Devi S. Laskar as our She Writes Guest Editor for May. Get to know this debut author, her new book The Atlas of Reds and Blues and join us as we talk to her about her writing routine. 

About Devi

Devi S. Laskar is a native of Chapel Hill, N.C. She holds an MFA from Columbia University in New York, an MA in South Asian Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a BA in journalism and English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A former newspaper reporter, she is now a novelist, poet, photographer and artist. Her photographs include the cover of The Florida Review; and in the pages of Tiferet Journal and Blue Heron Review. 

Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming from The Atlanta ReviewRattleFairy Tale ReviewTin House and The Raleigh Review, which nominated her for Best New Poets 2016. Her fiction is forthcoming from Crab Orchard Review. She has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. She is an alumna of both TheOpEdProject and VONA, and is also an alumna of poetry workshops at the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley. In 2017, Finishing Line Press published two poetry chapbooks, “Gas & Food, No Lodging” and “Anastasia Maps." Counterpoint Press published her debut novel, The Atlas of Reds and Blues, February 2019. She now lives in California with her family. 

The Atlas of Reds and Blues

"The entire novel takes place over the course of a single morning, as Mother lies waiting for help, and the effect is devastatingly potent." ―Marie Claire 

When a woman―known only as Mother―moves her family from Atlanta to its wealthy suburbs, she discovers that neither the times nor the people have changed since her childhood in a small Southern town. Despite the intervening decades, Mother is met with the same questions: Where are you from? No, where are you really from? The American-born daughter of Bengali immigrants, she finds that her answer―Here―is never enough.

Mother's simmering anger breaks through one morning, when, during a violent and unfounded police raid on her home, she finally refuses to be complacent. As she lies bleeding from a gunshot wound, her thoughts race from childhood games with her sister and visits to cousins in India, to her time in the newsroom before having her three daughters, to the early days of her relationship with a husband who now spends more time flying business class than at home.

The Atlas of Reds and Blues grapples with the complexities of the second-generation American experience, what it means to be a woman of color in the workplace, and a sister, a wife, and a mother to daughters in today's America. Drawing inspiration from the author's own terrifying experience of a raid on her home, Devi S. Laskar's debut novel explores, in exquisite, lyrical prose, an alternate reality that might have been.

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