Portrait of author Sindya Bhanoo next to the cover of her new book

Michener Center Grad Explores Indian Women's Lives in Short Story Collection

  • May 31, 2022

Journalist and author Sindya Bhanoo wants you to pay attention to the mundane, ordinary moments in life. These are a central theme of Seeking Fortune Elsewhere, a collection of short stories written by the visiting faculty member at The University of Texas at Austin and released in March by Catapult.  

The eight stories in the collection—four set in India, and four set in the United States—offer a glimpse into the day-to-day lives of mostly ordinary women. 

“I think our society celebrates CEOs and movie stars and people who make a good headline,” said Bhanoo, a graduate of UT Austin's Michener Center for Writers, “but I think that the women in my stories are doing important, groundbreaking things in much smaller ways that affect them and their families.” 

Bhanoo wanted to tell the stories of Indian and Indian American women in particular, she says, because of how much India has changed over the years. Her parents immigrated from India, so she grew up in the U.S. but visited India frequently. She’s particularly interested, she said, in how the role of women has changed—and how it hasn't.  

“I really wanted these stories to be part of the record. I wanted them to exist,” said Bhanoo. “I hadn’t seen these characters before in the books that I read, and I really felt like if I didn’t write these stories down, they would never get written down.” 

Read the full interview in the Alcalde.