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Mimi Mondal Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Luminescent Threads: Connections to Octavia E. Butler (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Collections

Not So Stories (2018) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Mimi Mondal is an Indian author based in New York that writes speculative fiction. Even though Mimi plays in a variety of genres, she is best known for her science fiction stories. Her name is most commonly associated with ‘Luminescent Threads’.

+Biography
Mimi Mondal was born in Kolkata, India. Her father is Prakash Kumar Mondal. He worked as a Bengal Civil Services officer. Mimi’s mother is Dipali Mondal. For the longest time, she held a position at the state bank of India.

Mimi Mondal’s real name is Monidipa Mondal. She played no part in the selection of the name ‘Mimi’. Rather, the nickname was given to her at birth. And over time, she grew accustomed to attaching it to her works.

Though, the author does have stories and essays associated with the ‘Monidipa Mondal’ name.

Despite speaking Bengali, Hindi and boasting knowledge of numerous other languages, Mimi has a passion for the English language, which might explain why she has a Bachelor’s Degree and a Master’s Degree in English from Jadavpur University.

She also attended the University of Stirling in Scotland where she acquired certification in publishing studies. This is on top of the time she spent at the Clarion West Writers Workshop in Seattle as an Octavia E. Butler Memorial Scholar and the Creative Writing MFA she acquired from Rutgers University.

Her literary works have appeared in resources like ‘Words Without Borders’, ‘Daily Science Fiction’, ‘Tor.com’, and ‘PodCastle’ to mention but a few.

The Dalit Speculative fiction writer became the first Indian author to receive a Hugo Award nomination. She also became a finalist for the 2018 British Fantasy Awards, this on top of receiving a Locus Award in that same year.

When Mimi Mondal isn’t writing, she can be found pursuing her editorial work. Mimi is an editor by profession. She spent quite a few years pursuing the role at Penguin Random House India.

+Literary Career
Growing up in Kolkata, Mimi Mondal read a lot of Bengali literature, chief amongst which were the ‘Professor Shonku’ stories by Satyajit Ray. She was also drawn to children’s stories and tales of horror from other Bengali names like Premendra Mitra and Lila Majumdar.

When she finally encountered Western fiction, she remembers experimenting with the likes of Philip K. Dick, Asimov and even J.K. Rowling. She had a few encounters with Tolkien as well.

As she progressed through her teens, comic books came into the picture, not to mention authors like Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. But the majority of fiction that Mimi Mondal consumed was Bengali, not because that is all she cared to read but, rather, Science Fiction and Fantasy written by English authors was very difficult to find in India.

And when she did find it, it was a struggle for her to enjoy it because most such works were devoid of Indian cultural references with which she could relate. As such, most such works failed to elicit emotional reactions from her, a fact that drew her towards her local authors.

As an adult, Mimi has done what she can to put South Asian literature on the map. As a burgeoning writer, it didn’t take her long to realize how much harder it was to make one’s mark on the international literary landscape.

India has always boasted relatively low publishing standards, so much so that anyone that can put two English words together is guaranteed publishing opportunities on the local literary landscape.

Unfortunately, most Indian authors rarely sell more than a hundred copies of their books and they definitely have no staying power in the business.

Mimi realized early on that if she wanted to make it big as an author, she had to write with international readers in mind. That being said, she also realized that her work had to first appeal to Indian readers before it could make a splash in international markets.

And the reason was that any SFF novel by an Indian author that could elicit interest amongst Indian readers would have that unique South Asian flavor that was likely to make it appealing to international readers.

That being said, Mimi hates the way foreign authors are pressured to produce fiction with social messages. She refuses to be constrained by any social rules that might seek to label her as primarily a South Asian writer who produces South Asian fiction. Rather, the author generally writes whatever appeals to her.

Her desire to produce fiction was sparked during the decade or so she spent in University. While she always knew that she wanted to write, it wasn’t until she pursued her degrees and certificates that she realized that she had a knack for seeing the fictitious aspects of every academic subject she was asked to research.

Interestingly enough, many of Mimi Mondal’s ideas are sparked by the news articles and nonfiction resources that she reads. When she does settle down to produce fiction, she always looks to her friends, most especially the writers to critique her work.

It takes Mimi several revisions to get her stories right. She has produced works for magazines and anthologies. She writes essays, short stories, and full-length books.

+Luminescent Threads
This book is a celebration of Octavia E. Butler’s pioneering work in the genre of Science Fiction, specifically the role she played in inspiring minority writers. The volume features essays and letters that explore Butler’s literary efforts, the subjects she explored and the themes that littered her works.

Luminescent Threads was Mimi Mondal’s first full-length book. It features contributions from several dozen writers. The volume earned Mimi her Hugo Award Nomination.

The book was praised for showing the influence that Butler had on other writers both during her time and in the future.

+Not So Stories
‘Not so stories’ has been compared to ‘Just so stories’ by Rudyard Kipling. Kipling’s work was a children’s book that some criticized for its endorsement of the British Empire’s colonization campaign, praising it for the civility and modernity it brought to so many dark corners of the world.

‘Not So Stories’ is designed to be a counter of sorts to ‘Just So Stories’. The volume features contributions from numerous writers of color who give voices to cultures that ‘Just So Stories’ ignored.

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