Veera Hiranandani on Writing Fiction as a Way of Understanding the Partition
This Week on the NewberyTart Podcast
Each week on NewberyTart, Jennie and Marcy, two book-loving mamas (and a librarian and a bookseller, respectively), read and drink their way through the entire catalogue of Newbery books, and interview authors and illustrators along the way.
In this episode, Marcy and Jennie talk to the Newbery Honor winning Veera Hiranandani, the author of The Night Diary.
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From the episode:
Veera: I grew up in a small town in Connecticut. I didn’t learn really anything about the partition in school. Maybe one line about the creation of Pakistan or India’s independence, but I wanted to understand it more, and so I was intimidated by writing a book about it. I felt like, can I even do this? I wasn’t even that good a history student, you know, who am I going to take on this material?
But I really just felt this very personal kind of drive to understand it more. And for me, writing fiction is a way to understand anything more. Combining that kind of imagination over real events. And so I started it took me many years. I’m glad I started when I was a little more of an experienced writer and. And here we are.
Veera Hiranandani, author of the Newbery Honor-winning The Night Diary, earned her MFA in creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College. She is the author of The Whole Story of Half a Girl, a Sydney Taylor Notable Book and a South Asia Book Award finalist. A former editor at Simon & Schuster, she now teaches creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College’s Writing Institute.