An essay published at The Millions. I write about how Voltaire's Candide inspired both my physical garden and my literary one. Along the way, I share thoughts from Virginia Woolf, May Sarton, Diane Ackerman, Adam Gopnik and . . . The Martian (by Andy Weir.)
My review of Akil Kumarasamy's debut short story collection is now up at PopMatters. It is an interlinked set of short stories, so I also talk a bit about how such collections work.
This month's short stories column at PopMatters looks at five new short story collections out this year by American writers of South Asian origin. I also take a look at what "South Asian" covers as a demographic. And how the works of such diasporic writers are typically being received in both the US and their countries of origin (mostly India.) The five stories featured are from: Vandana Singh; Akil Kumarasamy; Neel Patel; Anita Felicelli; and Chaya Bhuvaneswar