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’s novel Unmarriageable: Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice in Pakistan is forthcoming from Penguin Random House. PRE ORDER . Her debut novel An Isolated Incident was a finalist for the Townsend Prize for Fiction, the KLF French Fiction Prize, and an Amazon Rising Star pick. Soniah’s TEDx talk, Redreaming Your Dream, is about regrets, second chances and redemption. Her story Jelly Beans was selected for The Best Asian Stories Series 2017 and her award winning and Pushcart Prize nominated work has appeared in numerous publications including The New York Times, The Guardian, BuzzFeed, Literary Hub, Catapult and The Normal School.
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Sonya Huber, Pain Woman Take Your Keys, memoir
Kathy Wilson Florence, Three of Cups, a novel
Sara Luce Look, Charis Books and More, independent book store
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Rosalie Morales Kearns, Kingdom of Men, a novel
Saadia Faruqi, Meet Yasmin, children’s literature
Rene Denfeld: The Child Finder, a novel
Jamie Brenner, The Husband Hour, a novel
Sara Marchant, The Driveway has Two Sides, memoir
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Thrity Umrigar, The Secrets Between Us, novel
John Kessel, Pride and Prometheus, novel
Lisa Romeo, Starting with Goodbye: A Daughter’s Memoir of Love After Loss
Rachel May, An American Quilt: Unfolding a Story of Family and Slavery
Rebecca Entel, Fingerprints of Previous Owners, novel
Jamie Sumner, Unbound: Finding from Unrealistic Expectations of Motherhood
Falguni Kothari, My Last Love Story, novel
Tanaz Bathena, A Girl Like That, YA novel