Hugo House Seattle, January 12, Sat, 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM PST

Writing South Asian LGBTQ Lives: panel, reading and Q & A



In this panel, the following authors will read from their latest writings and discuss their major challenges as LGBTQ writers of color in the US and India:

– S J Sindu (Sri Lanka, US): Marriage of a Thousand Lies (2018)
– Minal Hajratwala (India, US): Out: Stories from the New Queer India (2018)
– Sasha Duttchoudhury (India/US): Moving Truth(s): Queer and Transgender Desi Writings on Family (2015)

Moderator: Chandan Reddy is Associate Professor of English and Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies at the University of Washington Seattle. His has published Freedom With Violence: Race, Sexuality and the U.S. State (2011). He is currently working on his book The Burials of Globalization: Race, Rights and the Failures of Culture.

S J Sindu (Sri Lanka, US): Marriage of a Thousand Lies (2018)


SJ Sindu was born in Sri Lanka and raised in Massachusetts. Sindu’s first novel, Marriage of a Thousand Lies, won the Publishing Triangle Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction and the Golden Crown Literary Society Award for Debut Fiction, was selected by the American Library Association as a Stonewall Honor Book, and was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award and the VCU First Novelist Award. She is also the author of the hybrid fiction and nonfiction chapbook, I Once Met You But You Were Dead, which won the Split Lip Press Turnbuckle Chapbook Contest. She holds an M.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a PhD in Creative Writing from Florida State University. Her work has been published in Brevity, LitHub, the Los Angeles Review of Books, The Normal School, Fifth Wednesday Journal, and other journals and anthologies. She teaches creative writing at Ringling College of Art and Design.

Marriage of a Thousand Lies

Lucky and her husband, Krishna, are gay. They present an illusion of marital bliss to their conservative Sri Lankan–American families, while each dates on the side. It’s not ideal, but for Lucky, it seems to be working. She goes out dancing, she drinks a bit, she makes ends meet by doing digital art on commission. But when Lucky’s grandmother has a nasty fall, Lucky returns to her childhood home and unexpectedly reconnects with her former best friend and first lover, Nisha, who is preparing for her own arranged wedding with a man she’s never met.

As the connection between the two women is rekindled, Lucky tries to save Nisha from entering a marriage based on a lie. But does Nisha really want to be saved? And after a decade’s worth of lying, can Lucky break free of her own circumstances and build a new life? Is she willing to walk away from all that she values about her parents and community to live in a new truth? As Lucky—an outsider no matter what choices she makes—is pushed to the breaking point, Marriage of a Thousand Lies offers a vivid exploration of a life lived at a complex intersection of race, sexuality, and nationality. The result is a profoundly American debut novel shot through with humor and loss, a story of love, family, and the truths that define us all.

Minal Hajratwala (India, US): Out: Stories from the New Queer India (2018)


Minal Hajratwala (born 1971) is a writer, performer, poet, and queer activist of Indian descent. She was born in 1971 in San Francisco, California, US, and was raised in New Zealand and suburban Michigan. She is a graduate of Stanford University.

Out: Stories from the new Queer India

In Bengalaru, a law student falls in love as the nation’s highest courts decide whether his love is legitimate. … In Mumbai, a film star and a parent discuss their own journeys of “coming out” as advocates of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender movement. … In rural Kerala, two girls row a small boat and feel their hearts opening.

These are the lives of LGBT Indians today: poignant, gripping, and occasionally even hilarious. Through their original and unforgettable stories, penned by the community’s master storytellers as well as emerging writers, Out! Stories from the New Queer India, launched in 2013 and edited by Minal Hajratwala, offers a glimpse beyond the closet doors – and into the lives and dreams of India’s most misunderstood minority.

Sasha Duttchoudhury (India/US): Moving Truth(s): Queer and Transgender Desi Writings on Family (2015)


Sasha Duttchoudhury has been published in “T.I.P.S. to Study Abroad: Simple Letter for Complex Engagement” (2014) and “Moving Truth(s)” (2015). Sasha has participated in VONA (2016) and currently is staff at the University of Washington.