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Brinda Charry Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Hottest Day of the Year (2001)Description / Buy at Amazon
Naked in the Wind (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
The East Indian (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

The Tempest: Language and Writing (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Arden Guide to Renaissance Drama (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Collections

Brinda Charry
Brinda Charry came to the US from India as a graduate student and has lived here ever since. Brinda’s writing has won several prizes and awards, including the Hindu-Picador Short Story Prize, the Katha Prize for Creative Fiction (twice), the Asian Age prize, The Ruth and James Ewing Award, and the India Plaza Golden Quill Critic’s Choice Award.

Brinda earned her doctorate in English Literature from Syracuse University, NY. She is also a specialist in English Renaissance Literature (Shakespeare and contemporaries with a focus on cross cultural engagement and race during the 1600s and 1700s, and the early history of globalization), she has published numerous articles and books in her field.

Her short fiction has been broadcast on Commonwealth Radio and BBC Radio. Several of Brinda’s shorter pieces (mostly fiction) have been published in newspapers and journals around the world.

“The East Indian” was inspired by two things. First, she learned about natives of India that arrived in colonial America. She found out that the earliest known mention of such a person (“Tony”) dates all the way back to 1635, not very long after the first white settlers showed up. It was a surprising piece of information, and it fascinated her as well. She just had to write about it.

She was also inspired by this reference to this “Indian” boy in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, an often overlooked and surprising reference. It was a reminder of just how “global” the world was, even during Shakespeare’s time. So Shakespeare’s Indian boy and “Tony”, possibly the first “East Indian” on North American soil met, and her novel came into being.

The most challenging aspect of writing the novel was imagining what it must have been like to live in this newly emerging colony in the “New World” during the 1600s. That was such a long time ago, that there times that she felt as though she had taken on too much.

Brinda researched extensively for the novel, both the work by historians and the original documents from this time period. She read to better understand the important historical trends which shaped this long-vanished time, and read to get to know the smaller details (fauna, flora, and foods). And most importantly, she read just so that this time period became much more real to her, because she had to be able to transport herself every time she sat down to write, because that was the only way to transport the readers.

The toughest part of being a writer is finding the time, and balancing it with her job and the other parts of her life.

The easiest part of being a writer is coming up with premises and ideas; and the writing itself once she is able to get into the flow of it. Brinda loves writing fiction and is in her element while she is engaged in it.

“The Hottest Day of the Year” is the first stand alone novel and was released in 2001. In a small South India town, under the brutal summer sun, this young girl watches anxiously while tensions simmer, and then proceed to boil over.

Nithya’s parents are away on business, and the eleven year old spends six sultry months in Tamil Nadu with her widowed aunt and unmarried uncle. Battling total boredom, nosy neighbors, and stupefying heat, she befriends Sudha, the family’s pretty servant. Nithya tags along to gather the vegetables and milk the buffalo, and she learns the rhythm of the older girl’s life, and the secret which threatens it. Sudha hangs herself in her bedroom, the surrounding brahmin community seethes with fascination, and Nithya learns a lot more about her aunt and her uncle than she ever wanted to know.

While she tells Sudha’s story in this exquisitely rendered voice, she emerges as quite the extraordinary girl in her own right.

“Naked in the Wind” is the second stand alone novel and was released in 2006. Tanaya Shah longs for the wonderful world of Paris, the world which she fell in love with as she watched Audrey Hepburn in “Sabrina”, so when this proposal comes along for this arranged marriage with a guy that is living in Paris, she seizes the opportunity. However once she lands in the city, she shuns this match. One stroke of luck turns Tanaya into a supermodel, and quickly this traditional girl cavorts with rock stars and is soon disowned by her family.

In this new whirlwind life of hers, she is reintroduced to the guy that she was supposed to marry, the man that she has now realized that she should have never walked away from, the guy that is her only connection to the family that she longs to reconcile with, if it’s not too late.

“The East Indian” is the third stand alone novel and was released in 2023. The first native of the Indian subcontinent to show up in Colonial America, inspired by a historical figure.

Tony is deeply compassionate, insatiably curious, with this unique point of view on every scene that he encounters. Abducted and transported to the New World after he travels from the British East India Company’s outpost on the Coromandel Coast to the teeming streets of London. Young Tony now finds himself in Jamestown, Virginia, where he and some of his fellow indentured servants, boys like himself, some men from Africa, and this mad woman from London, have to work in the tobacco plantations. Afraid and orphaned, Tony longs for home initially.

However while he adjusts to this new environment, finding some companionship and even love, he is able to envision a life for himself after his servitude. His dream is to become a medicine man, or a physician’s assistant, and expert on herbs and roots, a dispenser of healing compounds.

Like Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, the play that captivates him, Tony’s life is rich with hijinks and oddities, tragedy and humor. Set during the early days of English colonization in Jamestown, before servitude calcified into racialized slavery, “The East Indian” gives an authentic voice to an otherwise unknown historical figure and brings the world that he would have encountered at this time to vivid life. In this coming of age story, narrated by this most memorable literary rascal, Brinda conjures up a young character sure to be beloved by readers for years to come.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Brinda Charry

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