Chaitali Sen and ‘The Pathless Sky’
Chaitali Sen is the author of the novel, The Pathless Sky (Europa Editions, 2015). Her short stories, reviews, and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in Ecotone, New England Review, New Ohio Review, Colorado Review, LitHub, Los Angeles Review of Books, Brooklyn Magazine, and Catapult. She lives with her family in Austin, Texas.
About The Pathless Sky
In The Pathless Sky, Chaitali Sen conjures a world in which a nation’s political turmoil, its secret history, and growing social unrest turn life into a fragile and capricious thing and love into a necessary refuge to be defended at all cost. A world, that is, not unlike the one we live in. John and Mariam are unforgettable characters, troubled lovers who struggle to find a space for the finest human emotions in a place that is determined to abolish them.
SONIAH KAMAL: First author/book you read/fell in love with?
CHAITALI SEN: Carolyn Keene, everything Nancy Drew.
To unwind: chai, coffee, water, wine?
Wine, definitely. I don’t know why water is even on this list.
A novel, short story, poem, essay, anything you believe should be mandatory reading?
Any classic you wished you’d pushed through in your teens?
I struggled through a lot of classics in my teens that were way over my comprehension level, so I think I get a pass on this one.
A favorite quote from your book
“Can you two goat****ers tell me why these posts are abandoned?”
Your favorite book to film?
Favorite Indie Book Stores?
The one think you wish you’d known about the writing life?
You have to proofread your own work.
Does writing/publishing/marketing get any easier with each story/novel published?
Maybe it helps to have some track record in publishing and marketing, but NO on the writing. Every new piece is hard.
Dog, Cat, Or?
A favorite book cover?
A favorite song?
This is tough one. I have so many. I’ll say “Ain’t No Love,” by David Gray.
I worked for a short time at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York when they were having the Over the Line exhibit, a huge retrospective of Jacob Lawrence’s paintings. I could wander the galleries during my lunch hour even when the museum was closed. I used to stare at the painting, Home Chores.
Last impulse book buy and why?
Lisa Ko, The Leavers. The red cover caught my attention, but I’m glad I bought it because it was wonderful.
Soniah Kamal is an award winning essayist and fiction writer. Her novel Unmarriageable: Pride & Prejudice in Pakistan, a parallel retelling of Pride and Prejudice and set in contemporary Pakistan, has received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Library Journal. NPR calls it ‘thought provoking and deliciously readable’ and People Magazine says “This inventive retelling of Pride and Prejudice charms.” Unmarriageable is an Amazon Best Books pick, a People Magazine’s Pick, a New York Post Best Book pick, a Library Reads pick and more. Soniah’s debut novel An Isolated Incident was a finalist for the Townsend Award for Fiction, the KLF French Fiction Prize, and is an Amazon Rising Star pick. Soniah’s short story ‘Jelly Beans’ was selected for the Best South Asian Short Stories Anthology 2017. Her TEDx talk is about regrets and redemption. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, Buzzfeed, Catapult, The Normal School, Literary Hub, and has been widely anthologized. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from Georgia State University where she was a Paul Bowles Fellow in Fiction. She currently teaches creative writing at Rhineheart University and reviews books for the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Soniah will be giving a keynote address at the Jane Austen Summer Program Conference (2019) and she is a Jane Austen Literacy Ambassador. She was born in Pakistan, grew up in England and Saudi Arabia, and currently resides in Georgia.
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